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Violence Against Women Act Introduced for Reauthorization Today

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) will introduce a bipartisan bill today to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The Violence Against Women Act is due to expire at the end of this year.

VAWA was originally drafted by then-Senator Joe Biden and was passed into law in 1994. It was then reauthorized by Congress in both 2000 and 2005. The law allocates $1.6 million to improve federal, state, and local-level investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases and to provide support for shelters, rape crisis centers and community services for domestic violence survivors.

It is estimated that every nine seconds, a woman is abused in the United States and nearly one-third of women in the United States report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend some time in their lives. Since the passage of VAWA, the rate of intimate partner violence has dropped by 53 percent.

Media Resources: National Domestic Violence Hotline Website 11/30/11; National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women 11/28/11; Niagara Gazette 4/21/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/22/11