Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick joined his peers in Washington D.C. last week in calling for the reauthorization of VAWA. Previously law, but not reauthorized this February, it enables the criminal justice system respond to domestic abuse and helps victims rebuild their lives.
“An average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute in the United States,” Fitzpatrick said. “The Violence Against Women Act has drastically improved our nation’s response to safe guarding women and children from abuse and anguish.”
Fitzpatrick also invited several Bucks County experts to speak on their experience. Director of Advocacy and Outreach Jen Hinds from A Woman’s Place thanked the congressman for inviting her.
“At home in Bucks COunty, VAWA is critical to our work,” Hinds said. “VAWA helps A Woman’s Place support survivors of domestic violence and also educate the community on how to prevent abusive relationships before they happen.”
NOVA Executive Director Penny Ettinger also spoke on how VAWA helps the Network of Victim Assistance.
“It’s vitally important Congress reauthorizes VAWA funds that support direct services in our community to victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking and primary prevention programs for children and youth that will lead us to a community free of sexual violence,” Ettinger said. “I want to thank Congressman Fitzpatrick for leading on this issue.”
The bill would improve services and housing for survivors, and educate youth on combating violence and bullying. It also includes Fitzpatrick’s Combat Online Predators Act, which would increase penalties for cyberstalking, especially against minors.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) also attended the press conference.