Attorney General Fox Urges Congress to Renew the Violence against Women Act

Attorney General Tim Fox and 55 other state and territory attorneys general are urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence against Women Act (VAWA).

Today, the attorneys general sent a letter to congressional leaders and chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, urging lawmakers to vote to reauthorize VAWA before it expires this year.

“Congress must renew the Violence against Women Act. It is an important law that brings resources into our communities to aid victims and to advance prevention efforts,” Attorney General Fox said. “Over the last few years, at the state level we have improved the legal and law-enforcement response to sexual assault crimes, and we need to continue moving forward. Allowing the Violence against Women Act to expire would be a significant step backward.”

Enacted in 1994, VAWA has brought over $6 billion in grant funding to government and nonprofit organizations nationwide. Montana agencies and organizations have received more than $73 million since 2005. The grants have funded training and assistance to address and reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The grants have also funded resources and services to assist survivors, prosecute offenders and facilitate partnerships between prosecutors, judges, advocates, community organizations and health care providers.

In their letter, the attorneys general emphasize the importance of VAWA in reducing the rate of sexual violence toward women and addressing the devastating impacts of these crimes. They urge Congress to continue funding for programs that have helped millions of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

The letter is available online: https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/VAWA-Letter.pdf

Details on grant recipients in Montana are available online: https://www.justice.gov/ovw/awards/fy-2017-ovw-grant-awards-by-state

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