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Reporter Resources RE: Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

Reporter Resources RE: Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

By Daniel Buchanan

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2012 – On May 16, the House of Representatives passed — by a vote of 222-205 — H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, sponsored by Rep. Sandy Adams.  Earlier, the Senate adopted its own version of VAWA reauthorization language, S. 1925, sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy and Mike Crapo, by a vote of 68-31.

The American Bar Association supports S. 1925 and opposes H.R. 4970.  The following are resources you may use in your coverage as the bill moves forward to an anticipated Senate-House conference.

Statement of Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, President, American Bar Association: 
RE:  Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2012 — The House version of the Violence Against Women Act rations justice for victims and jeopardizes the safety of families.  By excluding provisions found in the Senate bill that protect vulnerable populations—including Native Americans, immigrants and LGBT victims— the House version runs counter to the intent of the original legislation.

Congressional conferees should send a clear message to victims and survivors of abuse that the justice system serves them.  While the American Bar Association opposes mandatory minimum sentencing language in the Senate bill, it is the best vessel for a faithful reauthorization of VAWA that protects all victims.

Please click here for a biography and photo of Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association.

Additional Resources:

  • Robinson’s letter to members of the House of Representatives, expressing the association’s opposition to H.R. 4970, prior to the vote on May 17;
  • Robinson’s letter to senators in support of S. 1925 prior to the vote on April 26;
  • ABA Governmental Affairs Office’s priority page on VAWA;
  • ABA one-page overview of VAWA;
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence 2011 Domestic Violence Counts Census;
  • 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

Legal Experts:

The following experts can speak to key components of the two differing versions of VAWA reauthorization.  They are speaking as experts knowledgeable on the issues, and not on behalf of the American Bar Association.

Immigration: Rosie Hidalgo can be reached at 703-942-5582 or rhidalgo@casadeesperanza.org;

LGBT: Terra Slavin can be reached at (323) 993-7651 or tslavin@lagaycenter.org;

Tribal: Kelly Stoner can be reached at (405) 208-5188 or kstoner@okcu.edu.

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