Shaheen joins bipartisan group of senators in reintroducing VAWA legislation

January 23, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today renewed her strong support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and repeated her call for Congress to reauthorize this critical program. Shaheen, an original co-sponsor of the bill, was part of a bipartisan group of senators who reintroduced the legislation.

“Protecting New Hampshire citizens from domestic and sexual abuse is a critical priority, and the services afforded through VAWA have an enormous impact in keeping our citizens safe,” Shaheen said. “I’ve spoken with victims of sexual violence across New Hampshire and one thing that I’ve heard repeatedly is that VAWA makes a difference.  All of us share an obligation to stop this epidemic, and VAWA is a proven tool in the fight.”

“I am proud to stand in support of VAWA to make sure people throughout our state get the protection they deserve,” Shaheen added.

"Throughout her career, Senator Shaheen has stood up for women in our state and across the country and we are fortunate to have an advocate like her representing our interests in the senate," said Amanda Grady Sexton, Director of Public Policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "Senator Shaheen has been a tireless advocate and the strongest of leaders when it comes to the Violence Against Women Act and we can’t thank her enough for all of her support."

Shaheen has visited crisis centers funded by VAWA throughout New Hampshire to hear from survivors of domestic violence and has spoken several times on the Senate floor in support the bill. This past November, Shaheen was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence for her support of women and families in need.

Despite the advocacy work being done in New Hampshire, nearly one in four women 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, according to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. According to the Department of Justice, twenty-five percent of college women will be the victim of rape by the time they complete a four-year program. 

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.

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