MEDIA CONTACT:
ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

Austin, Texas – April 27, 2012– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) jointly laud Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for her leadership and wisdom in supporting S.1925, the bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) represents the federal government’s commitment to addressing violence against women in innovative and life saving approaches to the coordinated community response, which includes law enforcement, prosecutors, the courts, and victim services. VAWA funds training and direct services in response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Gloria Terry, TCFV President, said today, “Our nation and Texas are better for having VAWA; women and families are safer as a direct result of VAWA.”

Yesterday, the reauthorization of the historic and seminal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) came to the floor of the Senate for a vote. After strong debate and spirited compromise, S.1925 passed the Senate by a significant margin. Annette Burrhus-Clay, Executive Director of TAASA said, “By voting in favor of the bill, Senator Hutchison continued her stellar advocacy for women who have been victimized by their intimate partner or who have suffered rape.” In a related move, Senator Hutchison also recently voted to level-fund VAWA in the Senate budget, itself an important victory in the current dire federal fiscal reality.
Way to go, Senator Hutchison!

As the House turns its attention to VAWA reauthorization, TCFV and TAASA call on the Texas delegation to follow Senator Hutchison’s example and work towards a bill that resembles or mirrors S.1925, the most vetted and informed approach to VAWA reauthorization.

Finally, Senator Cornyn voted against S.1925. TCFV and TAASA appreciate Senator Cornyn’s earnest efforts towards compromise and look for continued opportunities to work with Senator Cornyn to gain his support for S.1925 as it continues in the legislative process.

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The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation. TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence. See www.tcfv.org.

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) is the statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence in Texas. A non-profit educational and advocacy organization based in Austin, TAASA member agencies comprise a statewide network of more than 80 crisis centers that serve rural as well as metropolitan areas. Founded in 1982, the agency has a strong record of success in community education, legal services, youth outreach, law enforcement training, legislative advocacy, and curricula and materials development. Additional information about TAASA can be found at www.taasa.org.