Urging Congress to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

September 25, 2000

Today, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, President Clinton will call on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), set to expire on September 30. Passed in 1994 as part of the Administration's crime bill, VAWA established new federal criminal provisions and grant programs to improve the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, and to provide critical services to victims. The President will also announce approximately $1.7 million in VAWA grants for New Mexico that will be used to combat violence against Native women; improve response to domestic violence and child abuse in rural areas; encourage state, local, and tribal governments to treat domestic violence as a serious crime; and strengthen legal assistance programs.

HIGHLIGHTING VAWA'S SUCCESS IN COMBATING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Since its passage, the Violence Against Women Act has been making a difference across the country. According to a recent report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, domestic violence has declined since 1993. The report shows:

The Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services have awarded over $1.6 billion in VAWA grants nationwide to support the work of prosecutors, law enforcement officials, the courts, victims' advocates, health care and social service professionals, and intervention and prevention programs. In addition, VAWA established a domestic violence hotline, which has received over half a million calls.

URGING REAUTHORIZATION OF VAWA. Although tremendous strides have been made, domestic violence still devastates the lives of many women and children. Nearly 900,000 women experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner every year. Close to one-third of women murdered each year are killed by an intimate partner, and violence by intimates accounts for over 20% of all violent crimes against women. If Congress fails to reauthorize VAWA, many critical programs may be jeopardized. Reauthorization legislation, which has broad bipartisan support, will help to:

ANNOUNCING VAWA GRANTS TO NEW MEXICO. The President will announce approximately $1.7 million in VAWA grants for New Mexico that will be used to combat domestic violence. Here is how some of the grantees will use this funding:

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Urging Senate Republicans to Pass a Real Patients' Bill of Rights

Providing Long-Term Care Insurance to Federal Workers

Calling on Congress to Act Now on Permanent Conservation Funding

Working to Create Digital Opportunity for Americans with Disabilities

Improving Access to Government Services and Information

Urging Congress to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Highlighting Record Gains for Working Families Across America

Announcing the Largest Budget Surplus in History

Working to Ensure Health Insurance Coverage for Children

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Historic Protection for America's Environment and Cultural Heritage (10/11/00)

The Clinton-Gore Administration: Urging Congress to Support America's Education Priorities

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