Press Releases

Feinstein: Violence Against Women Act will save lives

Senate passes bipartisan bill to fight domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the bipartisan passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), a bill that will help law enforcement combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking across the nation. VAWA passed the Senate by a vote of 68-31 and now heads to the House of Representatives.

Senator Feinstein released the following statement:

“During my days as mayor of San Francisco, law enforcement officers worried most about responding to domestic abuse calls, where they knew things got really rough. I saw it over and over again, up-close and personal, what happens because of domestic violence. I attended a number of funerals for police officers in Oakland who were killed in the middle of protecting those in domestic violence situations.

It was a big problem then, and it remains a big problem today.

But with the help of VAWA in California, the number of domestic violence homicides committed annually has dropped by 30 percent between 1994--the year VAWA was enacted--and 2010.

Simply put, VAWA saves lives.

VAWA was improved to include protections for gay and lesbian individuals, undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse and authority for Native American tribes to prosecute crimes.

911 operators and police officers don’t refuse to help a victim because of their sexual orientation or the country where they were born or their immigration status. When you call the police in America, they come, regardless of who you are.”

In California, 30,000 people accessed crisis intervention services from one of California’s 63 rape crisis centers in 2010 and 2011. These centers primarily rely on federal Violence Against Women Act funding to help victims.

In 2009 alone there were more than 167,000 cases in California in which local, county or state police officers were called to the scene of a domestic violence complaint.

Click here to watch a video of Senator Feinstein speaking about the importance of The Violence Against Women Act.