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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 11, 2014
Patrick Leahy, D-VT
"I was also extremely proud when the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 was signed into law last year by President Obama. This is legislation, which I introduced with Senator Crapo, reauthorized the critical Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA. When we enacted VAWA 20 years ago, it sent a powerful message that we will not tolerate crimes against women, and the law forever altered the way our Nation combats domestic and sexual violence. Just as it did nearly 20 years ago, this reauthorization offers support to the victims of these terrible crimes and helps them find safety and rebuild their lives. It was crafted with a great deal of input from victims and the tireless professionals who work to support them every day, and I am grateful for their support and assistance."
Sexual Assault Awareness And Prevention Month April 7, 2014
Patrick Leahy, D-VT
"The Violence Against Women Act, VAWA, which first passed in 1994, has had an astounding impact on reducing sexual and domestic assault in our country. The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50 percent since VAWA became law. This groundbreaking bipartisan legislation included many provisions critical to supporting and improving services for all victims of sexual assault and ensuring that law enforcement has the tools it needs to find and prosecute perpetrators. I was proud to author the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which was signed into law by President Obama last year."
Violence Against Women Act Anniversary March 10, 2014
Patrick Leahy, D-VT
"Less than 2 weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was taking additional steps under our VAWA reauthorization to prevent the sexual assault and abuse of immigrants in our detention facilities. This was in response to a provision in the VAWA law requiring that all DHS facilities comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act to prevent sexual abuse and assault. There is still much work to be done to protect immigrant women, and I look forward to continuing to work with DHS to ensure that they are doing all they can to protect those in their custody. I also remain committed to passing legislation to increase the number of U visas available for immigrant victims of violence. That powerful law enforcement tool helps keep all of us safe by encouraging victims to report criminals who pose a danger to our communities."
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act One-Year Anniversary February 12, 2014
Patrick Leahy, D-VT
"In passing this historic VAWA reauthorization, the Senate showed that we still can act in a bipartisan way and put crime victims above politics. Senators Crapo and Murkowski were steadfast partners in that effort and listened to the call from thousands of survivors of violence and law enforcement by supporting a fully-inclusive, lifesaving bill."
First Session Of The 113Th Congress Reflections December 19, 2013
Patrick Leahy, D-VT
"My first legislative priority at the beginning of this Congress was to complete our work to improve and reinvigorate the Violence Against Women Act, VAWA. Vermont has been a national leader in addressing domestic and sexual violence. In Vermont, VAWA funding has helped the National Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence provide services for more than 7,000 adults and nearly 1,400 children in 2011 alone. The Burlington-based Women Helping Battered Women and Middlebury-based WomenSafe have supported thousands of children and adults by offering emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, and legal assistance. These dedicated service providers help victims recover from unspeakable trauma and abuse, but the need for VAWA remains. Three women are killed every day by abusive husbands or boyfriends. In Vermont, 51 percent of all homicides are related to domestic violence. After months of work, the Senate came together in the best tradition of the institution to reauthorize VAWA with a strong bipartisan vote. This bill, which I drafted with Senator Mike Crapo, a conservative Republican from Idaho, proved that when we put people before politics there is much we can accomplish. Our bill was written with the input of survivors and the advocates who work with them every day, law enforcement personnel, judges, and State and local leaders. It was drafted to meet the real needs of real victims. Although it faced early resistance, none of the commonsense changes it included should have been controversial. Eventually, the House listened to the experts in the field and followed the Senate’s example and passed this inclusive, lifesaving legislation. At a time when we face gridlock and stonewalling on even the most compelling issues, I was heartened to see that we could find a way to cut through all of that to help victims of violence."

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