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Violence Against Women Act Bill Passes Senate

Senator: This Bill Empowers Victims, Law Enforcement and Caregivers

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted in support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill that she co-sponsored, adding that the legislation is now at a critical juncture as it heads to the House of Representatives.  The bill resoundingly passed on a bipartisan basis, 78-22.

The bill reauthorizes the landmark Violence Against Women Act which was enacted nearly two decades ago, strengthens and improves existing programs that assist victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  The measure closely mirrors the bipartisan legislation approved by the Senate last year, and seeks to protect all victims of sexual and domestic violence.

“There are few pieces of legislation that have such a direct, tangible and immediate impact on countless Alaskans,” said Murkowski.   “This Act empowers the victims who suffer from domestic abuse, dating and sexual violence, and it empowers those on the frontlines of law enforcement and caregivers in the largest American cities to the smallest Alaska rural village.  I hope that my colleagues in the House of Representatives deliver on this national need.”

“I thank Senator Murkowski for her support of the Violence Against Women Act, and specifically for her work on the important tribal provisions in the bill,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “This reauthorization will allow us to make real progress in addressing the horrifying epidemic of domestic violence in tribal communities in Alaska and all across the country. Senator Murkowski’s work helped to strengthen these provisions, and I thank her for her work and her dedication to this issue.”

Senator Murkowski has been an outspoken advocate for this legislation, both in the 113th Congress which recently began and the 112th – when she and Senator Leahy urged the House of Representatives leadership to pass last year’s version.  In recent days, she took to the Senate floor on two separate occasions to advocate for the bill’s passage.

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