Washington, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement today after joining a majority of her House colleagues in voting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“Each year there are over 200,000 victims of sexual assault, and one in six women are raped in their lifetime. While these numbers are devastating, since the enactment of the first Violence Against Women Act almost 20 years ago, the annual number of incidents has dramatically fallen, while the reporting rate has risen by over 50 percent.
“The programs in H.R. 4970 are critical to continue the fight for equality and women’s rights. The bill we passed today makes common-sense reforms to ensure that more money actually benefits victims and is dedicated to eliminating the astounding backlog in rape kit tests.
“Additionally, today we are approving vital funding for rape prevention educational programs, youth victim services, and improvements to emergency and transitional housing services for victims.
“Since its enactment, The Violence Against Women Act has enjoyed bipartisan support. This is not a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal issue. Together, we uniformly stand against violence against anyone.
“I am pleased we have passed H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2012, a victim-centered bill that will extend vital programs that protect against and prevent both physical and mental violence.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers spoke in favor of VAWA at today’s Republican Leadership press conference. To watch her remarks, click here.