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Congress Needs to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Washington, DC—Congress needs to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a message conveyed in a National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) letter signed by 53 state and territorial Attorneys General and sent to Capitol Hill today.

Since its passage in 1994, VAWA transformed the response to domestic violence at the local, state and federal level, reducing domestic violence rates by 50 percent. Reauthorizing VAWA will not only permit critical services to victims to continue uninterrupted, but will also target three key areas where data shows efforts should be focused to have the greatest impact. These are:

  • Consolidating and strengthening programs aimed at both prevention and intervention

  • Developing and implementing best practices, training and communication tools to prosecute and punish perpetrators, and help victims

  • Improving training for those who interact with victims to recognize the warning signs and react meaningfully

VAWA was last reauthorized in 2006. “Reauthorizing VAWA will send a clear message that this country does not tolerate violence against women and show Congress’ commitment to reducing domestic violence, protecting women from sexual assault and securing justice for victims,” the NAAG letter reads.

A copy of the NAAG letter can be found here: http://www.naag.org/sign-on_archive.php

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), www.naag.org, was founded in 1907 to help Attorneys General fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

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