Elert: VAWA Bills Introduced in Congress, Ignore Long-Standing Problems with the Law

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
January 24, 2013

Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bills were introduced in the Senate and House on Tuesday.

The two bills are very similar to last year’s S. 1925, except the new proposals remove a provision to increase the number of U visas, given to immigrant abuse victims who agree to cooperate with criminal justice officials; and include the SAFER Act, which provides for audits of untested rape kits.

SAVE supports measures to reduce the backlog of rape kits.

Unfortunately, the Senate and House bills, S. 47 and H.R. 11 ignore the well-documented problems with VAWA, which are outlined in SAVE’s Mandate for Change: http://www.saveservices.org/mandate-for-change/

While Sen. Patrick Leahy, lead sponsor of the Senate bill, claims his bill will help “all victims of domestic and sexual violence,” every one of the statistics and examples in his Statement highlight only female victims: http://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahy-crapo-reintroduce-bipartisan-bill-to-reauthorize-the-landmark-violence-against-women-act

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments will continue to work to reform the Violence Against Women Act so the law respects civil rights, assures accountability, supports partner reconciliation when it is safe, and helps all victims of domestic violence.