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February 4, 2013

NNEDV Urges All Senators to Support a Clean Senate Bill, Without Amendments

This week, the Senate is scheduled to vote on S. 47, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The bill, authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) and co-sponsored by 60 Democrats and Republicans, was reintroduced at the beginning of the 113th Congress. It closely mirrors the bipartisan Leahy-Crapo bill that passed the Senate in the previous Congress by a significant (68-31) margin.

"Sixty senators have made a strong statement that they stand with all victims of violence." said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. "A vote for VAWA is a vote for victim safety."

Advocates are urging Senators to pass the bill without any amendments.

"VAWA must be about victims and the protections that meet their needs and nothing else," said Gandy. "S. 47 must be passed without any amendments and then immediately sent to the House for action. Any other course threatens urgently needed final passage and implementation," concluded Gandy.

About VAWA

VAWA is the cornerstone of our nation's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and because of VAWA, millions of victims have received lifesaving services and support. Despite VAWA's proven ability to substantially improve lives, it has not reached all victims. VAWA's reauthorization provides an opportunity to build upon the successes of the current law by including key improvements to protect and provide safety and access to justice for Native American, immigrant, and LGBT victims, as well as victims on college campuses and in communities of color. Additionally, a reauthorized VAWA must include strengthened housing protections that provide emergency housing transfer options for survivors, as well as implementation of transparent and effective accountability measures that support and strengthen, rather than endanger, the programs that assist victims.