Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida/National News

Violence Against Women Act:  FL Sen. Bill Nelson Cosponsors Bill - FL Rep. Sandy Adams works to roll back protections

Violence Against Women Act Republicans
Florida Rep. Sandy Adams.
Photo: AP/ John Raux

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Florida's U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is a cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which passed the Senate by a vote of 68-31 the last week in April. Every female Republican Senator joined with the Democrats in the Senate to support the legislation. Florida U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio, voted against the bill.

Links of interest:
War on Women - Jezeblel
The Fight to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Kate Beckinsale Satirizes 'War On Women'

Originally enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized by unanimous consent in 2000 and 2005.This reauthorization provides funding for important transition services for victims, such as housing assistance, counseling, and legal assistance. It also increases funding to train law enforcement to recognize and prosecute sexual assault.

The Violence Against Women Act has up till now been a nonpartisan affair. This year, partisanship could threaten the VAWA.

House Republicans, lead by Brevard County's freshmen Rep. Sandy Adams and backed by the full Republican House leadership is looking to roll back confidentiality protections for abused immigrant women; make it more difficult for undocumented witnesses to work with law enforcement officials; and eliminate a pathway to citizenship for witnesses who cooperate with police on criminal cases.

VAWA consolidates thirteen programs into just four, which according to Senator Nelson will save $682.5 million over the course of the five-year authorization.

This VAWA also expands protection of Native American women on tribal lands, immigrant women whose noncitizen status makes them particularly vulnerable, and victims of same- sex assault and abuse.

The reauthorization of VAWA is widely supported by victim services providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, faith-based organizations, and is endorsed by the Attorneys General of all 50 states.

The Obama Administration strongly supports the VAWA reauthorization.

It is not clear where the Republican presidential hopeful stands on this issue. 

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