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(Washington, DC) – US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) praised the Senate’s 68-31 vote to pass the Violence Against Women Act, which provides federal funding for critical services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and urged the House to take up the bill.  If Congress does not reauthorize the Act by the end of the fiscal year in September, federal grants to states and local service providers will be at risk.

“I’ve had the chance to visit several crisis centers around New Hampshire in the past few weeks. Over and over, the people I meet have told me: ‘The Violence Against Women Act saves lives,” Shaheen said. “I know this is true and that’s why I’m proud that the Senate came together to stand up for women and families. I urge the House to do the same.”

The U.S. House of Representatives must now approve the bill before it can be sent to the President for his signature into law.

Shaheen spoke on the Senate floor about the Violence Against Women Act earlier today. The video, and her remarks, are here:

She also spoke recently about the need to extend the Violence Against Women Act at the Strafford County Family Justice Center in Rochester and the Bridges Domestic and Sexual Violence Support center in Nashua.

According to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, nearly one in four women in New Hampshire has been sexually assaulted, at least a third of New Hampshire women have been the victim of a physical assault by an intimate partner and more than half of all women in the state have experienced sexual or physical assault over the course of their lifetime.

The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994 and was reauthorized with broad bipartisan support in 2000 and 2005.  More than 200 national organizations and 500 state and local organizations have expressed their support for the bill, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Attorneys General, the National District Attorneys’ Association, the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.