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November 30, 2011

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) today applauds Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Crapo for introducing legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA is at the core of our nation’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

“The National Network to End Domestic Violence commends Senators Leahy and Crapo for their leadership on this life-saving legislation,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president.  “The Violence Against Women Act provides vital support, services, and safety for victims and its reauthorization is critical to continuing efforts to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence.”

Since it was first passed in 1994, VAWA has made great progress in keeping victims safe and holding perpetrators accountable. The reauthorization provides an opportunity to build upon these successes and make vital improvements.

The Leahy - Crapo bill includes key enhancements to existing provisions and strengthens the response to domestic and sexual violence in tribal communities.  In recognition of the current economic times, the bill also streamlines and consolidates several grant programs.

“We urge Congress to swiftly reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act to address to the needs of victims,” said Else.  “We look forward to continuing to work with Senator Leahy, Senator Crapo, and all Members of Congress to ensure that VAWA is once again reauthorized with strong bipartisan support.”

An NNEDV survey revealed that during one 24-hour period in 2010, more than 70,000 victims received lifesaving services at domestic violence programs nationwide.  Unfortunately, during that same 24-hour period more than 9,500 requests for services went unmet largely due to lack of resources.