WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) today. The bill, S. 47, passed the Senate with bipartisan support by a vote of 78 to 22. Originally passed in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, VAWA is a monumental piece of legislation, which has helped significantly reduce domestic violence by funding programs that protect women and children from abuse.
“Organizations across New Mexico have helped make VAWA the single most effective federal effort to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” said Sen. Heinrich. “All people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic background should have the right to live free from domestic and sexual violence. A stronger Violence Against Women Act takes us closer to that goal. I urge House Republicans to swiftly pass the Senate’s bipartisan bill and not jeopardize critical funding for anti-domestic violence efforts across the country.”
Yesterday, Sen. Heinrich with women’s organizations across New Mexico to answer questions and discuss the pressing need to reauthorize VAWA. During the call, Sen. Heinrich stressed the importance of provisions in the Senate bill that aim to combat domestic violence in Indian country and keep Indian women safe.
The bipartisan bill passed by the Senate today includes key provisions to more effectively combat violence against all victims by strengthening existing programs and expanding protections for Native Americans and the LGBT and immigrant communities.