Violence Against Women Act - Still Saving Lives

2013-03-07 17:42:16
<> MARCH 2013 In This Issue Violence Against Women Act Fast Facts Useful Links


MARCH 2013

In This Issue
Violence Against Women Act
Fast Facts
Useful Links

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Please call
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Since 1994, this law has met a compelling human need
Sen. Barbara Mikulski

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Refreshed and Reformed Violence Against Women Act Saves Lives 

Today President Obama stood up for women and families when he signed the long-overdue reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act into law.

As a former child abuse social worker, I saw first-hand how domestic abuse destroys families and destroys lives. No woman in this country should live in fear that her husband or boyfriend will hurt or kill her or her kids. I have zero tolerance for domestic violence. If you are beaten and abused, you should have somewhere to turn for help and a path to recovery. 

That’s why I’m so pleased that Congress recently came together to reauthorize the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act, a law crucial to protecting the rights of women everywhere.

Every day, VAWA is providing vital services to families in desperate need. I hear from Marylanders who far too often are facing difficult challenges, often involving significant economic struggles only to be complicated by deep emotional pain and fear.

This is not about politics. Here are the statistics: 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence; 16 million children are exposed to domestic violence every day; and over 2 million will be victims themselves of physical or sexual violence each year. In Maryland, that’s 20,000 women each year.

VAWA is making recovery possible. Millions of women have called the national domestic abuse hotlines supported by VAWA, and millions of women have gotten help. Through legal assistance, victims are empowered with the tools they need to separate from their abusers.  They are also getting vital services at rape crisis centers and navigating our immigration system to ensure protection.

I have heard the stories of those across Maryland who have been victimized by domestic violence. I was especially moved by the story of one of my Maryland constituents, Jean. She wrote to tell me that after being married to her husband for 10 years and sharing two children, she could no longer take the abuse. After being brutally abused one evening, Jean called the national domestic abuse hotline. Using a Legal Assistance for Victims Grant, she got the legal assistance to file for a protective order. Thanks to VAWA, she is now living safely with her children.

I also hear from law enforcement in Maryland who say VAWA is helping them make communities safer. VAWA includes training for police officers, prosecutors and judges so that they know how to do a good job. The Lethality Assessment Program, pioneered in Maryland and now a model for the nation, is strengthened in this bill. The program is used to identify high risk situations at the outset and link up local police with domestic violence professionals. Through this, we are providing wrap around services and empowerment to get victims out of harm’s way and reduce homicides. This was made possible because of VAWA which provided the federal funding to make this a reality.

Since 1994, this law has met a compelling human need by supporting prevention, intervention and even prosecution of domestic violence. I was a strong supporter of this bill in 1994 when it was first introduced by then-Senator Joe Biden. I pledge to continue to fight against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, which are crimes of epidemic proportions exacting terrible costs on individual lives and our communities.

I am proud to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act that has been refreshed and reformed, and brings new ideas and new approaches to combat domestic violence.



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Fast Facts

"These are numbers and statistics, but they also represent real people."
Senator Barbara Mikulski

1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence during her lifetime.
16 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
1 in 6 women have experienced an attempted or complete rape.
2.3 million people are victims of violence in the U.S. each year.
1,000 women are killed by their abusers on average each year, across the U.S.
Domestic and sexual violence providers help over 70,000 victims every day.

In Maryland
20,000 people are victims of abuse in Maryland each year
In one day in 2011, Maryland’s domestic violence programs served 866 victims

Useful Links

Read"Senator Mikulski’s statement after Senate Passage of VAWA
Watch Senator Mikulski Continue Fight for VAWA on Senate Floor in 2012
Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence - Resources in Maryland
Hotline"for Domestic Violence Programs in Maryland

Additional Information from the National Network to End Domestic Violence
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