Young votes to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act05/16/12
Rep. Todd Young (R-IN9) voted in support of H.R. 4970, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as it passed the House on Wednesday by a 222-205 margin. Originally passed in 1994, VAWA provides federal funding for programs and organizations that assist victims of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault.
“This law has been crucial in helping to protect people—especially women—who find themselves trapped in abusive relationships or who are the victims of sexual assault,” said Young. “Through no fault of their own they fear for their safety, and unfortunately too often for their lives. It’s our duty to provide them the protection, care, counseling and justice they deserve.”
In addition to reauthorizing funding for VAWA grant programs for five years at a level of $680 million a year—the same level as a bill that passed the Senate last week—the bill also increases resources for sexual assault investigations and strengthens penalties for sexual assault and abuse. The House version of the bill also increases funding for the testing of rape kits to reduce a national backlog, and increases maximum penalties under federal stalking laws by 5 years.
“I think it’s important that we continue to not only fund programs that might help future victims of abuse or assault, but that we also work towards safety, care and justice for those who previously were, or currently are, victims,” said Young.