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Tonko Votes to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

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Washington, April 4, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTONCongressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) voted today to pass H.R. 1585 a bipartisan, long-term Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, which passed in the House by a vote of 263-158. The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 had a transformative impact, calling for all Americans to be protected from violence and abuse and all victims to have the support they need. This reauthorization, which passed the House, will secure and strengthen life-saving protections for women throughout New York and across the country.

“Millions of victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault deserve the protections that this vital legislation provides,” said Tonko. “The original Violence Against Women Act has contributed to a dramatic drop in partner violence, yet too many Americans, including 1 in 3 women, still suffer from domestic violence. Our work in Congress will remain incomplete until every woman and every American, in every part of our society, can live free from violence and fear.”

This reauthorization fulfills Congress’s responsibility to protect all Americans by reaffirming protections for every woman, as well as including vital improvements to address gaps in current law that have been identified by victims, survivors and advocates.  This bipartisan bill:

  • Improves the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
  • Expands the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;
  • Improves protections for Native women, including by reaffirming tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
  • Closes loopholes in current firearm laws in order help prevent “intimate partner” homicides, by prohibiting persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; and
  • Invests in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make our communities safer.

“Bringing about an end to domestic violence and sexual assault shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Tonko added. “This Violence Against Women Act reauthorization shows that Congress is serious about this issue and committed to working in a bipartisan way to ensure New Yorker and people throughout the country have the resources they need to seek justice, receive support and care, and rebuild their lives.”


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