SACRAMENTO – Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) today announced the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 20. The bill will call upon the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and ensure sustainability of vital state and federal programs designed to keep women and families safe from violence and abuse.
“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.
“Hundreds of domestic violence prevention advocates descend on the Capitol today to inform legislators about pending legislation– including VAWA reauthorization,” said Senator Evans. “I was fortunate enough to meet a few from the second senate district whose stories reminded me why it is so important to retain and renew the Violence Against Women Act.”
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.