The US House today passed – and sent to President Barack Obama – a far-reaching extension of the Violence Against Women Act.
As Politico explains, the bill renews a 1994 law that proponents say has set the standard for how to protect women, and some men, from domestic abuse and prosecute abusers. The 286-138 vote came after House lawmakers rejected a more limited approach offered by Republicans.
Congressman Steve Daines voted in support of the measure that’s also referred to in shorthand as “VAWA”. Here’s a copy of a press release his office issued on the matter today:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Daines today voted in support of the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act, which reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act while also securing tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians for prosecutorial powers in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Click here to view Daines’ remarks
Click here to download video of Daines’ remarks
Daines announced his support of the legislation earlier this morning in a meeting of the Coalition of Large Tribes, which he attended as a guest of Crow Tribe Chief Darrin Old Coyote. “I will be voting in support of the Senate’s version of the Violence Against Women Act,” Daines stated this morning in his remarks. “I understand as a dad the importance of protecting those who are most vulnerable. I stand with you on principle that we must protect and be a voice for the most vulnerable members of our society— we must fight for all of the victims of domestic violence.”
In his remarks, he relayed the concerns that tribal leaders from Montana’s reservations had shared with him in advance of today’s vote.
“I have spent the past two months meeting with tribal leaders from across Montana. And while every tribe is unique, all shared with me their concerns about the prevalence of domestic violence and crimes against Indian women on reservations,” Daines continued. “The legislation approved recently by the Senate contains strong provisions that will make it easier for Native American women to receive the justice and support they deserve.”
Montana is home to seven federally recognized Indian reservations and the state recognized Little Shell Tribe. Daines serves as a member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian Affairs.
In this interview with Edward O’Brien, Y-W-C-A of Missoula executive director Cindy Weese explains why this bill is so important.
Weese says domestic violence is still far too prevalent a problem; one affecting 1 in 3 American women: