Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today joined Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) and other GOP women to announce legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA represents the federal government’s commitment to help prevent violence against women, protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice. It was first signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and has enjoyed broad bipartisan support.
Well thank you all for being here, I certainly appreciate it.
We have a lot of speakers today that would like to talk on this important piece of legislation that we’re going to discuss.
It’s the House Republican proposal to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
One in every four women, will be at some time, experience domestic violence. So nationwide, that’s 38 million women, or in my home state of South Dakota over 100,000 women, that at some time will be impacted by domestic violence.
My mother currently serves at a shelter in a small town in Watertown South Dakota, and what is so key and so important is that violence knows no bounds. It can impact the rich and the poor, it can happen in large cities and it can happen in very small communities, like I live in.
I believe that it’s our nation’s moral responsibility to help prevent violence against women and also protect those who have been assaulted and bring those perpetrators to justice.
In 1994 our nation made a commitment with the authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. And for nearly two decades, this law has been a testament to that commitment that we have made.
Unfortunately, in Congress, there are some who’d like to make this a political play. They’d like to make cheap shots and try to politicize it in an election year.
That is why I fully support the reauthorization and the proposal that we’re bringing to you today.
It’s our commitment to women and it’s also why we’re introducing the five-year re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
This bill, some specifics on it, it provides the same level of funding as the Senate version, to help protect those victims of violence, sexual assault and stalking.
It also requires that more money go directly to victims, and keeps the money from going to bureaucratic expenses. It also dedicates more funding to help process the backlog of rape kits that we have seen in this country.
Right now, there is an estimated 180,000 to 400,000 rape kits that have not been processed. That is too many women wondering who their attackers have been and also too many rapists who are potentially walking free.
Violence against women is never okay, and I'm proud to stand here today in support of this legislation which will further our nations commitment to putting an end to it.
And with that I'd would like to introduce Representative Sandy Adams from Florida, who is the author of this important piece of legislation.