Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DeLauro slams GOP over Violence Against Women Act

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) made the following remarks on the House floor this afternoon on the Republican proposal to dramatically scale back the Violence Against Women Act. The remarks are as prepared for delivery:
When one out of four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, it is unconscionable that the Majority would try to roll back the protections in the Violence Against Women Act.
Since the Act first passed in 1994, it has changed the landscape for American women. Domestic violence has dropped by over 50 percent. And in an historic bipartisan fashion, the Senate passed a reauthorization that modernizes the Act for our times, consolidates programs, and takes additional steps to reach victims of domestic violence.
200 national organizations and 500 state and local organizations, including the National District Attorneys’ Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association, support that bill. And our colleague Congresswoman Moore has put forward legislation that mirrors that bipartisan approach.
But instead of moving that bipartisan bill forward, the Majority has put forward a partisan alternative that in fact risks the lives of women.
The Department of Justice estimates that one of every three Native American women will be raped, and two out of five will be victims of domestic violence. Yet the Majority’s bill removes the provisions that are essential to ensuring Indian women have access to the Act.
Both the Senate and Congresswomen Moore’s bills strengthen protections in the Act for immigrant women. And yet the Majority’s bill would endanger the safety of immigrants.
In 2010 nearly half of lesbian and gay domestic violence survivors were turned away from shelters or denied the services because of their sexual orientation. The majority’s bill will continue to deny those individuals the community protections afforded by the act.
We are talking about women’s lives here. This is no place for partisan games. The rule before us would roll back the essential protections that have made a difference for so many women.
I urge the Majority to bring the reauthorization put forward by Congresswoman Moore reauthorization to a vote. And I urge my colleagues to vote no on this rule.



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