Delaney Statement Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act
WASHINGTON – September 13 marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was signed into law in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. In addition to providing funding towards the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, VAWA increased services available to victims, created a national domestic violence hotline and directed all states to recognize and enforce protection orders issued by other jurisdictions. Subsequent reauthorizations of the law have also included tougher penalties for federal domestic violence and stalking crimes.
VAWA created the National Domestic Violence Hotline and expanded the network of rape crisis and domestic violence shelters across the country. According to the Department of Justice, the overall rate of intimate partner violence declined by 64% from 1994 to 2010.
“We needed the reforms and federal support for anti-domestic violence programs in the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and we need them today,” said Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6). “Thanks to VAWA, we have stronger federal punishments for domestic violence, funding to train law enforcement officers and prosecutors to better respond to partner violence, and additional resources for state and local agencies to help victims in need. All women deserve to feel safe from abuse and all levels of government have a role to play. I’m committed to having Congress do its part and thankfully we reauthorized VAWA last year so programs that work can continue. I’m proud to have also worked with my colleagues in the House in pushing for better protections for women in the military, college students, the LGBT community and others here in the United States and abroad.”
Congressman Delaney cosponsored the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, a version of which was signed into law on March 7, 2013. This year, Delaney joined 39 colleagues in the House to write the Department of Education, urging greater transparency in investigations against universities for violations in the handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints. Delaney has also cosponsored the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act and the International Violence Against Women Act, which would create a military Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Council and an Office of Global Women’s Issues, respectively.