New Mexico Office of the Attorney General issued the following announcement on Sept. 17.
Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas today joined 55 other state and territory attorneys general to urge Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The attorneys general sent a letter earlier today to congressional leaders and the chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, urging lawmakers to vote to reauthorize VAWA before it expires this year.
“Congressional leaders have a responsibility to fight for women in dangerous situations,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “This funding is crucial for training, awareness, assistance, and justice for New Mexican women who are victimized by violence, and abuse, and it must be reauthorized.”
Under VAWA, originally passed in 1994, over $6 billion in grant funding has been awarded to government and nonprofit organizations nationwide. 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 emphasized the importance of VAWA to reducing the rate of sexual violence toward women and addressing the devastating effects of these crimes. They urged Congress to continue funding for programs that have helped millions of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
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