ABA Urges for Support of VAWA to Maintain Public Safety Programs
Calling the bill the single most effective federal effort to respond to domestic violence and sexual assault, American Bar Association President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III urged senators to support S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011, in a letter sent to Capitol Hill today.
“S. 1925 was carefully crafted to reflect discussions with more than 2,000 advocates and experts around the country,” noted Robinson. He further explained that the association adopted policy in February 2010 urging for adoption of legislation that provides services, protections and justice to vulnerable victims “including children and youth who are victims or are witnesses to family violence, and victims who are disabled, elderly, immigrant, trafficked, LGBT and/or Indian.”
Robinson urged senators to oppose amendments that would weaken the bill, including a substitute version being offered by Sens. Charles Grassley and Kay Bailey Hutchison. The letter also emphasized the ABA’s opposition to mandatory minimum sentencing proposals either to accompany new federal crimes or to augment existing offenses.
“VAWA has become an integral part of our public safety strategy that has empirical support for its effectiveness,” summed Robinson. “The good work being done by thousands of local providers and public servants cannot continue without its reauthorization.”
The letter in its entirety can be found online.