Washington, D.C.Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after working for over a year to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

“Today is a day for celebration for women and men across the country.  This bill fulfills our nation’s highest responsibility to protect those who are vulnerable, regardless of where they live or who they love. We know the Violence Against Women Act works.  Between 1994 and 2000, intimate partner violence fell by sixty-four percent thanks to provisions in VAWA. The bill we sent to the President’s desk today expands protections for millions of men and women, and will provide hope for those who are desperate for advocates.                                                        

“This victory comes after House Republicans held up progress on the bill for more than five-hundred days. Despite the fact that the Senate passed VAWA on a strong bipartisan vote, House Republicans put forward a bill that would have rolled back protections for the LGBT community, Native American women, college students and immigrants. Millions of domestic violence victims would have been shut out from vital protections that can be the difference between life and death.  Thankfully, it was soundly defeated.

“We have a long way to go to stop intimate partner violence and VAWA is only a small part of educating our communities about domestic violence, but today’s victory means that more Americans will wake up safe tomorrow than did yesterday. The actions of Congress today show that when needless opposition stops we can move this country forward and pass laws truly in the best interest of Americans.”