News Releases

VAWA: Senator Murray, Bipartisan Women Call on Boehner to Pass Senate's Violence Against Women Act

May 16 2012

13 Women Senators call on Speaker to honor VAWA's bipartisan history by taking up Senate-passed bill that strengthens protections for all women

(Washington, D.C.) – A bipartisan coalition of 13 Women Senators, led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), joined together to call on House Speaker John Boehner to pass the bipartisan, Senate-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act. In their letter, the Senators noted that the Senate reauthorization honors the bipartisan history of the bill by strengthening protections for all victims of domestic violence. The House version of the bill, which is scheduled to be voted on today, excludes many of the additional protections included in the Senate bill. The Senate version of VAWA reauthorization passed by a vote of 68-31 on April 26th.

We urge you to give an up-or-down vote to the Senate’s bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization Act,” the Senators wrote to Boehner. “Throughout its history, VAWA has been a bipartisan solution to an urgent national challenge. That’s why its reauthorization is endorsed by over 500 state and local organizations and 47 attorneys general. It was enacted with broad bipartisan support, has been reauthorized twice with unanimous Senate approval, and last month the Senate passed its reauthorization on a strong bipartisan vote.”    

In letter, led by Senator Murray, was also signed by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA),  Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). 

The full letter sent today to Speaker Boehner follows:

May 16, 2012

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232 the Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner:

A commitment to saving the lives of women and victims of domestic violence should be above politics. Since being enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has developed a long track record of protecting women and reducing the incidence of domestic violence by providing critical support to law enforcement and services for victims. In order to further combat domestic violence and sexual assault, we urge you to give an up-or-down vote to the Senate’s bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization Act. 

We should not let politics pick and choose which victims of abuse to help and which to ignore. Each previous reauthorization substantially improved the way VAWA addressed the changing needs of domestic violence victims by addressing challenges facing older victims, victims with disabilities, and other underserved groups. The Senate’s bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization Act continues this tradition by placing greater emphasis on training for law enforcement and forensic response to sexual assault, and by strengthening protections for all victims regardless of where they live, or their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

Throughout its history, VAWA has been a bipartisan solution to an urgent national challenge. That’s why its reauthorization is endorsed by over 500 state and local organizations and 47 attorneys general. It was enacted with broad bipartisan support, has been reauthorized twice with unanimous Senate approval, and last month the Senate passed its reauthorization on a strong bipartisan vote. We urge you to honor VAWA’s bipartisan history and affirm the House’s commitment to combating domestic violence by passing the Senate’s VAWA Reauthorization Act.     

Sincerely,

U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA),  Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH),  Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).