Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the House passage of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act:
“I am pleased that Congress has voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark law that has transformed the way we respond to domestic and sexual violence. This reauthorization includes crucial new provisions to improve our ability to bring hope and healing to the victims of these crimes, expand access to justice, and strengthen the prosecutorial and enforcement tools available to hold perpetrators accountable.
“Congress has also taken an historic step to finally close the loophole that left many Native American women without adequate protection. With this bill, tribes and the federal government can better work together to address domestic violence against Native American women, who experience the highest rates of assault in the United States. The bill also provides funding to improve the criminal justice response to sexual assault, ensuring that victims can access the services they need to heal. And it will help to build on evidence-based practices for reducing domestic violence homicides and prevent violence against our nation’s children, teens, and young adults.
“I applaud Congress for passing a bipartisan reauthorization that protects everyone – women and men, gay and straight, children and adults of all races, ethnicities, countries of origin, and tribal affiliations. The Department of Justice looks forward to implementing this historic legislation after it is signed into law.”