Sen. Leahy: House version of VAWA would ‘leave victims unprotected’

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 18:27 EDT
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Sen Patrick Leahy via YouTube screenshot
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Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who introduced the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act to the Senate, said Wednesday he was disappointed in House Republicans.

The House voted 222-205 to pass the Republican version of reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Unlike the Senate version, which passed in April, the House bill omits provisions related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, immigrant and Native women and men.

“I am disappointed that the House Republican leadership refused to consider the bipartisan Senate bill and insisted on ramming through an ill-conceived measure that would leave victims unprotected,” Leahy said. “I am encouraged by those members of the House, Democrats and Republicans, who stood with the victims and rejected the destructive approach to roll back protections for victims of violence.”

Twenty-three House Republicans voted against the bill and six Democrats voted for it.

“Unfortunately, the current proposal doesn’t reflect everything we’ve learned over the last five years in terms of what works best for prosecutors or victims, especially in the LGBT community,” said Judy Biggert (IL), one of the Republicans who voted no. “A strong VAWA reauthorization should clarify the law to reflect what everyone knows – that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. It can happen in a same-sex household or on a college campus, and our victim-service providers on the front lines just want to know that they can help anyone who comes through the door.”

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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