Saturday, December 17, 2005

Congress Completes Work on Violence Against Women Act, Funding Initiatives to Prevent Domestic & Sexual Violence and Providing More Help for Victims

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following is a statement by Esta Soler, president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, on the Violence Against Women Act:
This afternoon, when the House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, Congress completed its work on this critical legislation. We eagerly await the President's signature. This is a giant step forward, and offers real hope that our nation will significantly improve its response to domestic, sexual and dating violence, and stalking. We have repeatedly asked Congress to make our homes safer before heading to their homes for the holidays. With the Senate vote yesterday and the House vote today, generations of Americans can now benefit from the groundbreaking initiatives in this legislation.
VAWA 2005 is landmark legislation that funds initiatives to help children exposed to violence, train health care providers to support victims of abuse, work with men as allies to help teach the next generation that violence is wrong, and provide crisis services for victims of rape and sexual assault. It also continues longstanding efforts to improve the law enforcement response to violence against women and provide supportive services, such as transitional housing, to women and children forced to leave their homes because of violence.
We thank Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Arlen Specter (R- PA), and Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) for their strong, unwavering leadership on this bill. And we thank Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for championing the prevention initiative, and Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) the health provisions.
The Violence Against Women Act of 2000 expired on September 30. This reauthorization is long overdue. We urge President Bush to waste no time in signing it into law, so that Americans can reap the benefits, and our families and communities will grow stronger and safer.
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The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end violence against women and children around the world, because every person has the right to live free of violence. More information is available at http://www.endabuse.org

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