U.S. Senate passes renewal of Violence Against Women Act
Both U.S. Senators from West Virginia voiced strong support for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which passed the U.S. Senate on a 78-22 bipartisan vote last week.
Senator Jay Rockefeller was an original co-sponsor of the law back in 1994 and, along with Senator Joe Manchin, co-sponsored the present bill.
“Everyone deserves to be safe from abuse,” Rockefeller said. “Last week I talked with survivors from across the state who bravely shared their personal journeys to break free from violence. The resources provided though the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act can literally save lives.”
Rockefeller recently held a roundtable discussion in Martinsburg with those who work in the field, as well as survivors of abuse.
“Any act of violence is one too many, and fighting on behalf of all victims who suffer violence is of the highest priority to the people of West Virginia,” said Senator Manchin.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would renew programs that help law enforcement, prosecutors and service providers keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable.
It increases the focus on sexual assault, efforts to prevent domestic violence homicides, expanded protections for underserved communities and a provision enabling West Virginia to qualify for a greater share of funding under the Rural Grants Program.
The programs provided West Virginia with more than $3.9 million last year for enforcement and victims’ services.
Following passage by the Senate, Senator Rockefeller said, “I’m calling on the House of Representatives to step up to the plate, pass this bill and join us in protecting women, children and all victims of domestic violence.”
In the House
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and 17 other Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor urging that the House of Representatives to reauthorize the act.
“Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act continues to be a top priority for me,” Capito said.
Last year, Capito was named a conferee on the bipartisan committee charged with reconciling differences between House and Senate versions of the Violence Against Women Act, but the conference committee did not come to a consensus.