This afternoon, the House passed a resolution commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and what it has meant for American women. VAWA, and its subsequent reauthorizations, strengthened our criminal laws, provided funding to improve the criminal justice system's response to crimes against women, laid the groundwork for local coordinated community responses to end violence against women, and greatly increased awareness and understanding about the specialized needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) speaking on House Resolution 738:
Speaker Pelosi on the anniversary:
On the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, we recognize the historic nature of this comprehensive legislation, and also the work that remains to be done.
VAWA has brought communities together to address the appalling problem of violence against women and provided critical, life-saving support to so that victims do not have to suffer in silence. Based on the fundamental American value that no one should have to live in fear, this landmark legislation has improved the lives of countless. Women should feel safe whether in public or private: in their workplace, in their homes, and walking on the street.
As we recognize the accomplishments of VAWA, we recognize that our work is not yet complete. We must continue vigorous enforcement against domestic violence and invest in initiatives that prevent crimes of violence against women.
VAWA is an example of the power of a bipartisan group of legislators determined to make progress. Today we recommit to the goal of ending the scourge of violence against women once and for all.
If you are in need of help, please find the national hotlines below (if you are in immediate danger, call 911):
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) available 24/7 for the nearest rape crisis center.
National Stalking Resource Center
1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255) M-F 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM EST or email email@example.com.