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[Congressional Record: October 10, 2000 (Extensions)]
[Page E1729-E1730]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []



                        HON. MICHAEL E. CAPUANO

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, October 10, 2000

  Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Speaker, I am here today to remind Americans that 
domestic violence and other forms of violence against women are still 
widespread in the United States of America.
  On Friday, October 6, 2000, the Boston Herald reported that the 
number of victims killed in domestic violence incidents in 
Massachusetts increased by more than 50 percent over last year's 
numbers. This is a frightening development, particularly when the 
state's average for other violent crimes decreased over the same 
  When women decide that they have had enough of their abusive 
relationships, they frequently turn to a local shelter that provides

[[Page E1730]]

services to survivors of domestic violence. Often times, shelters that 
assist women and children are chronically short on resources. In fact, 
throughout the nation, for every six women that seek protection at a 
shelter, five are turned away because of lack of space or funds. In 
many of these unfortunate instances, women and children are forced to 
return to their abusive relationship because they lack a viable 
  Last Friday, the House passed the conference report on HR 3244, Sex 
Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Support of this bill is critical 
for several reasons. In particular, this conference report contains the 
reauthorization for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA is a 
grant program that was established under Title IV of the 1994 Violent 
Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Reauthorization of this bill 
will allow domestic violence assistance centers throughout the country 
to continue receiving grants to carry out programs that assist women 
who have been victims of domestic and sexual assault.
  This legislation authorizes $3.4 billion worth of grants over 5 
years. The grants will support programs to reduce violence against 
women by strenghtening law enforcement, services to victims of 
violence, and education and training to combat violence, as well as 
reducing the effects of violence on children. This law will also better 
protect battered immigrant women by reforming immigration laws that are 
currently being used to prevent a battered immigrant spouse from 
reporting abuse or leaving an abusive relationship.
  Passage of the VAWA reauthorization is an important victory for women 
and is key in our nation's war against domestic violence. Until America 
completely eliminates domestic and sexual violence against women, we 
must provide these women a safe haven with adequate protection and 
services. VAWA reauthorization is a step in the right direction to 
provide assistance to the women and children victimized within their 
own homes.
  I call upon my colleagues to join me in remaining vigilant about this