Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) released the following statement today commemorating National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is recognized nationally each year in October:
"National Domestic Violence Awareness Month serves as an opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves to ensuring that every victim of domestic violence is safe and offenders are held accountable for their actions. The statistics relating to domestic violence in our country are staggering: One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and approximately 40 percent of California women experience partner initiated physical violence in their lifetimes.
"Each year across the nation, thousands of domestic violence victims no longer have to live in fear because of important victim protections under the Violence Against Women Act known as VAWA. Since its enactment in 1994, VAWA has had a long history of uniting lawmakers through the common purpose of protecting victims of domestic violence. Now, House Republicans are determined to weaken VAWA. In May, I opposed H.R. 4970, the House Republican alternative to the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization bill. The bill severely undermined vital protections available to certain victims of violence and placed those victims in danger of continued abuse. Additionally, the Republican alternative bill threatened to dismantle the progress VAWA has made by placing domestic violence victims from the LGBT, immigrant, and tribal communities in harm's way.
"We need to make sure that VAWA protects all victims and doesn't exclude provisions that have been included in VAWA by both Republicans and Democrats over the past 18 years. It's time to stop putting victims of domestic violence lives at risk and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
"We should all commit ourselves to the millions of victims, families and advocates across the nation, and continue to make efforts to ensure that no woman, man or child has to live with the fear of mental and or physical abuse."