Congratulations Senator Mikulski and Thanks For Your Support of VAWA!

Mar 21st, 2012

MCASA thanks Senator Barbara A. Mikulski for her strong support of the Violence Against Woman Reauthorization Act of 2011. She has long been a supporter of our cause and recently became the longest-serving woman in Congress history. Congratulations and thank you, Senator Mikulski! Below is a recent press release distributed by Senator Mikulski on her support of the VAWA Reauthorization Act. _____________________________________________________________________________ March 15, 2012 MIKULSKI, WOMEN SENATORS SPEAK ON SENATE FLOOR TO SUPPORT BIPARTISAN BILL TO FIGHT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT Senator Mikulski Helped Pass Legislation in 1994 Which Has Helped Millions of Women; Urges Senate to Take Up Bipartisan Reauthorization WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today spoke on the Senate floor to urge the Senate to reauthorize the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which helps protect women and families from domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. As Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski puts funds in the federal checkbook to support the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women and programs authorized through VAWA, which she helped pass into law. "The Senate debates big issues, such as war and peace and the deficit, but we have got to remember our communities and our families," Senator Mikulski said. "If you are beaten and abused, you should be able to turn to your government to be rescued and put on the path to these very important programs early on to focus on prevention and intervention. I fund this bill. I stand ready to support the passage of the bill and to put money in the federal checkbook to support it. I'm going to yield the floor, but I will not yield on this issue." Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes of epidemic proportions, exacting terrible costs on individual lives and our communities.  Twenty-five percent of U.S. women report that they have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, 1 in 6 have been the victims of attempted or completed rape, and the cost of domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year. Senator Mikulski was joined by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) in making remarks on the Senate floor. Senator Mikulski's remarks, as delivered, follow: "I strongly urge that the Violence Against Women Act come up to the floor so that we could look at the issues and debate them in an open and public forum. If people have amendments to either add or subtract from the bill in an effort to improve it, let's do it, because this is a really compelling situation. "I have been here since we passed that first bill in 1994. The original architect was Senator Joe Biden, now our Vice President. "Why did we do it? It's a compelling need. One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence. Sixteen million children are exposed to domestic violence every day. Over two million will be victims of physical or sexual violence each year; 20,000 in my own state of Maryland. "Since we created the legislation in 1994, the national hotline has received millions of calls. Millions of women felt in danger and millions had a chance of being rescued. "And who was the biggest request for passing the Violence Against Women Act? It is not only the women of America, it is also local police. One out of four police officers killed in the line of duty are responding to domestic violence. They love the lethality index. When they go to a home, they have a checklist to determine how dangerous that situation is. Is it simply a spat or a dispute, or are they in the danger zone? "The Senate debates big issues, such as war and peace and the deficit, but we have got to remember our communities and our families. If you are beaten and abused, you should be able to turn to your government to be rescued and put on the path to these very important programs early on to focus on prevention and intervention. "I fund this bill. I stand ready to support the passage of the bill and to put money in the federal checkbook to support it. Maryland has done such a good job. "I'm going to yield the floor, but I will not yield on this issue." ###

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