BY US SENATOR BRIAN SCHATZ – President Barack Obama made history today by signing the Violence Against Women Act into law that will bring survivors of domestic violence out of the shadows to receive critical life-saving service.
The law provides the federal government with additional tools to prevent incidents, provide necessary support for victims, and prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.
With the high rate of domestic violence involving Native Women, we included a provision in the law that Senator Akaka wrote to address domestic violence in Indian Country by expanding tribal criminal jurisdiction.
I am particularly pleased that the bill expands grant eligibility to Native Hawaiian organizations.
I will continue to work with the Domestic Violence Action Center and local officials to ensure full implementation of the law so that we can begin providing closure to the thousands of victims of domestic violence in Hawaii and around the country.
Last month, I met with Nanci Kreidman of the Domestic Violence Action Center to discuss funding for the organization and the importance of VAWA. Since the passage of VAWA in 1994, there has been a drop in domestic violence incidents by 50 percent.