WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02), the top Democratic Appropriator for the Department of Justice, will be an original co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) when this legislation is introduced Tuesday.
"VAWA is critical to extending protective services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, and to providing law enforcement with the tools and training to combat these crimes," Fattah said. "Everyone has a right to feel safe in her own home."
Fattah is Ranking Democrat for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies which has appropriations oversight for Justice, the agency that administers VAWA protections.
"I have been a strong advocate for VAWA since the 1990s and for its reauthorization every time the issue has been raised in the House," Fattah said. "This bill is long overdue. It is shameful that the House last year was unwilling or unable to vote on this no-brainer legislation that had won overwhelming bipartisan approval in the Senate."
Fattah said, "This bill is notable for its inclusiveness, providing a broad definition for services to victims in underserved communities regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, tribal or immigrant status.
"We have learned that the scourge of domestic abuse and sexual violence is much more widespread than previously understood, and that civil rights protections for these victims are needed," he said.
The VAWA Reauthorization will strengthen and streamline existing programs, renew successful programs and include new approaches that will more effectively combat domestic violence. The Department of Justice will work with state and local police and prosecutors to advise, develop and fund programs under VAWA.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah