SACRAMENTO – Fresh on the heels of the United States’ Senate action to reauthorize funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) today announced her Senate Joint Resolution 20 passed off the Senate Floor with a bipartisan 29-1 vote. The bill will next be heard in Assembly Rules. SJR 20 calls upon the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the VAWA and ensure sustainability of vital state and federally funded programs designed to keep women and families safe from violence and abuse. The federal bill is now waiting for approval in the House of Representatives.
“Violence against women is a crucial issue that has affected everyone in one way or another, “said Evans. “Reauthorization of VAWA would allow existing programs to continue uninterrupted. VAWA will provide for the development of new initiatives to address key areas of concern including addressing the high rates of dating violence and sexual assault among women, ages 16-24 by combating tolerant youth attitudes toward violence.”
VAWA was first enacted in 1994, and has been the centerpiece of the federal government’s efforts to stamp out domestic and sexual violence. Critical programs authorized under VAWA include support for victim services, transitional housing, and legal assistance.
VAWA has been successful because it has consistently had strong bipartisan support for nearly two decades. But, while annual domestic and sexual assault rates have dropped more than 50 percent, the crimes remain a serious issue. Every day in the United States, three women are killed by abusive husbands and partners. In California, there were 166,361 domestic violence calls in 2010, including more than 65,000 that involved a weapon.
“Domestic violence services in California have also been the ongoing victims of budget cuts,” continued Evans. “VAWA is good policy and necessary. The economic crises facing the state has forced many individuals further into personal crisis where domestic violence services have been cut and shelters have been closed compounded by court closures and reductions to other public safety programs. All of this creates a situation where justice for survivors is delayed or denied.”
State Senator Noreen Evans represents the Second Senatorial District, including all or portions of the Counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma. Senator Evans Chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Committee on Judiciary.