Larsen: Domestic Violence Does Not Discriminate and Neither Should Domestic Violence Protection

Feb 28, 2013 Issues: Social Services, Tribes

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today cheered the passage of the comprehensive version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Senate bill which expands protections for immigrant, LGBT and Native American communities after defeating an amendment that would have stripped those expansions.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate, and with this bill, domestic violence protection will no longer discriminate,” Larsen said. “The expanded protections for immigrants, the LGBT community and Native Americans will give law enforcement officers more resources to go after perpetrators of domestic violence, and help prevent more women from becoming victims.

“Over nearly two decades the Violence Against Women Act has saved the lives of thousands of women and has made sure that domestic abusers meet justice,” Larsen said. “Over the last year I met with dozens of advocates for domestic violence victims in Tulalip, Oak Harbor, Mount Vernon, Lynnwood and Bellingham. They told me in clear terms that women across Northwest Washington need this bill to get the protections they deserve.”

Larsen was an original cosponsor of the House version of the comprehensive Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. A fact sheet on the bill is available here.

Larsen urged his colleagues to support the bill in a floor speech today:

Thank you Madam Speaker.

I rise today in support of the bipartisan Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act that we vote on today.

We wouldn’t be here today without the courage of victims from all of our communities—women and men, rich and poor, immigrant, Native American, folks from the LGBT community, all of those who spoke out about their experiences.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. And with this bill, domestic violence protection will no longer discriminate.

This bill improves protections for immigrants, for Native Americans, and for members of the LGBT community.

In my district, Tulalip Tribes Vice Chair Deborah Parker, has explained why these protections are so critical. She told me, “For far too long Native American women have lacked serious protections on our reservations.”

This bill will make it easier for them to seek justice, and it also includes important amendments to improve enforcement of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, a law that I sponsored in 2006.

Those amendments strengthen protections Congress put in place for immigrant women like Anastasia King, who was murdered in my district by her husband in 2000.

So I urge my colleagues to oppose the House VAWA substitute, and to pass S.47.