Washington April 18, 2012 — Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called for a vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, known as VAWA.
VAWA, reauthorized in the past with overwhelming bipartisan support, has led to significant declines in domestic violence since it was first passed in 1994. Domestic violence has decreased during that period by 53 percent, according to the Justice Department. Unfortunately, some Senate Republicans have indicated they will block the bill's passage.
Senator Feinstein said: "Whether you are gay or straight, whether you are Caucasian or Native American, whoever you are--you should have access to services that protect you from domestic violence. It is very important for millions of American women all across the country.
"I ask those who are threatening to block this bill: If the victim is in a same-sex relationship, is the violence and danger any less real?
"If a family comes to this country and the husband beats his wife to a bloody pulp, do we say, ‘Well, you're illegal, I'm sorry, you don't deserve any protection?'
"911 operators and police officers don't refuse to help a victim because of their sexual orientation or the country in which they were born. When you call the police in America, they come.
"In my view, domestic violence is domestic violence.
"The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act now has 61 cosponsors in the Senate—with both Republicans and Democrats. VAWA has always been bipartisan, it's bipartisan today and it needs to come to a vote. It's time to get this done."
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