Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Urges Swift Passage of Violence Against Women Act

Sep 20, 2018
Press Release

Legislation Protects Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault

Landmark Law Expires This Month

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today called on congressional leaders to take swift action next week reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) before it expires Sept. 30.

In a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Buchanan called VAWA “the cornerstone of our protections against domestic and sexual violence.”

Enacted more than two decades ago, the Violence Against Women Act provides grants to states and localities for counseling and legal assistance, battered women shelters, stalker databases and domestic violence hotlines.

Buchanan has been a long and consistent supporter of VAWA, and in 2013 was one of only 87 Republicans to vote in support of its reauthorization.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a staggering 12 million people each year are victims of rape, stalking or violence by an intimate partner. In Florida over 100,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2017 alone.

Buchanan said in his letter, “Helping the victims of domestic and sexual violence is a bipartisan issue that should be of critical importance to all of us. At a time when partisan gridlock has become all too commonplace in Washington, we need to come together and reauthorize this critical program.”

Earlier this year Buchanan voted for legislation allocating $492 million for the Office on Violence Against Women at the Justice Department including $47.5 million for sexual assault evidence kits used by law enforcement.

See letter below:

 

Dear Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy,

I am writing to urge you to immediately bring to the floor legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) before this critical and lifesaving program expires at the end of the month.

Originally enacted in 1994, VAWA has served as the cornerstone of our protections against domestic and sexual violence by providing much-needed support to victims throughout the United States. This program has provided essential services to millions of victims of stalking, domestic violence and sexual assault for more than two decades.

Tragically, it is estimated a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the United States. A staggering 12 million people each year are victims of rape, stalking or violence by an intimate partner. And with over 100,000 cases of domestic violence crimes reported in Florida in the last year alone, we cannot afford to wait any longer.

As you know, this landmark law strengthens the ability of law enforcement to combat domestic violence and sexual abuse while providing essential services for victims throughout the country. Among other things, the Violence Against Women Act provides grants to state and local authorities for counseling and legal assistance, battered women shelters, stalker databases and domestic violence hotlines to help our nation’s most vulnerable. 

Helping the victims of domestic and sexual violence is a bipartisan issue that should be of critical importance to all of us. At a time when partisan gridlock has become all too commonplace in Washington, we need to come together and reauthorize this critical program.

I appreciate your attention to this important matter and urge swift passage of this vital legislation.

Sincerely,