AG Coakley Applauds Congress for Voting to Reauthorize The Violence Against Women Act
Act Provides Critical Support for Families and Victims of Rape and Domestic Abuse
BOSTON – Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley issued the following statement applauding Congress for reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):
“We commend Congress for passing the Violence Against Women Act, which provides critical support for survivors of rape and domestic abuse and their families. This does and should send a strong message that our nation will not tolerate violence against women.”
Since its passage in 1994, VAWA has brought the issue of violence against women to the forefront and been a tool for law enforcement in the prosecution of cases. VAWA provides critical support for families and victims of rape and domestic abuse, including funding rape crisis hotlines and centers, community violence prevention programs, and legal aid for female victims of violence.
In Massachusetts, VAWA supports programs such as SAFEPLAN, which is administered by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA). The program provides specially trained and certified advocates to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are seeking protection from abuse. SAFEPLAN advocates provide crisis intervention, individualized safety planning, referrals to additional critical resources, education surrounding options available, and support and advocacy services.
Last session, VAWA passed the Senate with bipartisan support, but expired in the House of Representatives in the final days of the 112th Congress. Today, Congress voted to reauthorize and strengthen VAWA.
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