Here’s the press release from the office of Rep. Patrick McHenry, whose 10th District includes most of Asheville:
Washington, DC – Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) today applauded bipartisan passage of legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, the landmark law meant to prevent domestic violence and help victims of abuse. The law encourages law enforcement, judicial personnel, and public and private sector organizations to work together for victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking.
“The Violence Against Women Act provides critical support for victims and families of these horrible crimes. With 24-hour crisis response services, domestic violence shelters, and legal services for victims, the law has helped to drastically reduce these crimes,” said Congressman McHenry. “This reauthorization strengthens the law and will help to further reduce incidents of domestic violence.”
The Violence Against Women Act was first enacted in 1994 and has been renewed in 2000 and 2005. With a focus on working closely with local government programs, the law helps support enforcement efforts as well as educational and social programs to prevent crime.
VAWA provides necessary services to victims such as:
• Domestic violence shelters, which address victims’ immediate and long-term needs while helping victims protect themselves and their children;
• 24-hour crisis response, safety planning and assessment, accompaniment of victims to a law enforcement agency, medical care and judicial, emotional and post crisis support, information and referrals regarding issues such as protective orders, housing and utilities assistance;
• Legal services for victims – a correlation exists between an increase in the amount of legal services available and a decrease in intimate partner violence; and
• The National Domestic Violence Hotline, which serves over 22,000 victims per month and has served over three million callers since its inception.
Congressman McHenry also voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act in 2005.