Prosecutors ask the US Senate extend violence against women law
A coalition of 24 attorneys general, led by New York, asked the US Senate. to extend an extension to the Violence Against Women Law that expired in 2018, and which has been under consideration for a year but has not yet voted.
Prosecutors sent a letter Monday to Senate leaders highlighting that due to isolation and uncertainty during the coronavirus scourge, the public health crisis has increased, as have the risks to women who have been victims of domestic violence, "which requires immediate action" by the Upper House.
This law was signed in 1994 and created the Office of Violence against Women within the Department of Justice, and billions of dollars were assigned to it for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, as well as financial support for women in need, they recalled in a joint press release.
The letter was addressed to the Presidents of the Senate, Mitch McCnonnell, and of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Lindsay Graham, Republicans; Dianne Feinstein, a member of that committee, and Charles Schummer, from New York, leader of the Democratic minority.
"The approval of this law was a recognition of the insidious epidemic of violence against women in every community across the country. It provided crucial programs and financial support to women in need, but this crisis is far from resolved," they indicate. prosecutors in the letter.
They further argue that an average of 52 women are shot to death by their partner each month and that homicide is the most common cause of death for pregnant women.
"We have to do more to confront this epidemic," said the 24 attorneys general, who recalled Senate leaders.
Congress has extended two extensions to the Violence Against Women Law, which provides guarantees and legal services to counter domestic abuse, sexual violence and harassment, the most recent in 2013, which expired in 2018.
They also indicated that the House of Representatives voted in favor of another extension with bipartisan support on April 4, 2019 and sent it for the consideration of the Senate, which has not yet acted.
Prosecutors stress in the letter that the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country "makes the approval of this new extension more urgent than ever."
"Violence against women has been a public health crisis for generations and the COVID-19 outbreak illustrates the urgent need to further strengthen protections for women under federal law," prosecutors say.
This legislation strengthens protections for women from Native American tribes. expanding the jurisdiction of the tribal courts over men who are not of the same origin, who abuse these women.
They also recall in the letter that more than half of the indigenous and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual and physical violence by their partner.
The law also protects the LGBTQ community from discrimination.
POLICE, ALSO AT RISK
They also highlight in the letter that domestic violence also represents a threat to the Police and cite a 2017 report by the Department of Justice.
According to that report, 29 percent of the 133 police compliance deaths who responded to service calls were related to domestic disputes.
They assure senators that extending the protections of this law will not end the scourge of gender violence "but it is an important step to fully address this tragic epidemic."
The letter was sent by prosecutors from New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.