|Rep. Brendan F. Boyle
170th Legislative District
State Rep. Brendan Boyle Calls on Congress to Reauthorize VAW Act
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 7 – Today Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery), has introduced a formal House resolution, HR 81, calling on Congress to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act. Rep. Boyle’s resolution is co-sponsored by 26 House members.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first passed by Congress twenty years ago and has been extended twice by Congress. This is the first time since its existence that Congress has failed to reauthorize it.
“Congress’s recent failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act is an unfortunate casualty of Washington partisanship,” said Boyle. “The provisions of the VAWA provide a number of support mechanisms for women who have been victims of domestic violence, while also strengthening the criminal justice system's ability to address domestic and sexual abuse. The Act expands services for Americans who have been victims of those crimes, and helps victims get back to a ‘normal’ life.”
Reauthorization in the year 2000 established a legal assistance program for victims. Additionally, the reauthorization of the VAWA in 2005 led to the establishment of new and innovative programs designed to meet the needs of communities working to struggling to prevent violence, particularly against women.
“Every two seconds a woman is sexually assaulted somewhere in the United States. An estimated 1.3 million additional people are the victims of domestic violence, 85% of them women. These women often have nowhere to turn and face difficult physical and mental health challenges following the ordeal, in addition to expensive medical bills,” said Boyle. “Moreover, the shame felt by these victims often keeps them from taking legal action or speaking of the assault to others, further empowering those evil enough to prey on these victims. A failure to act will mean millions of victims nationwide will be left to struggle with their abuse alone, without the valuable advice, knowledge and support of qualified professionals.”
Boyle concluded, “My colleagues and I in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are calling on the United States Congress to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act and restore funding and support services for the millions of women who are victimized each year.”