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Statement of Laurel Bellows, President, American Bar Association Re: Bipartisan VAWA House Passage

Statement of Laurel Bellows, President, American Bar Association Re: Bipartisan VAWA House Passage

By Edward McEneely

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 28, 2013 — American Bar Association President Laurel G. Bellows issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to approve S.47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The legislation includes the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act, a comprehensive federal effort to help trafficked persons and prosecute their traffickers.

“The ABA applauds members of Congress for coming together to renew VAWA and the TVPA with broad bi-partisan support. VAWA is the most effective effort to address crimes of stalking, dating and domestic violence, and sexual assault in our country.  Expanding protections for Native Americans, campus victims, survivors of sexual assault, and victims of violence regardless of immigration status, and, for the first time, including protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual victims is a critical victory for fairness and human dignity.”

“Now we’ll be looking to Congress and President Obama to agree on a fiscal agenda that empowers law enforcement, aid groups, lawyers and courts to provide services to victims of violence and hold their attackers responsible. Allowing budget cuts to decimate the very programs Congress authorized through VAWA would send a terrible message that austerity is more important than public safety. We must leave intact the resources necessary to assist victims to recover fully from their traumatic experience.”

Please click here for a biography and photo of Laurel G. Bellows, president of the American Bar Association.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntaryprofessional membership organizations in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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