May 16, 2012
Rep. Carson Joins Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and Local Organizations, Opposes Legislation that Rolls Back Protections in the Violence Against Women Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman André Carson today will vote against H.R. 4970, a Republican bill that undermines the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Originally passed by Congress in 1994 and twice reauthorized with overwhelming bipartisan support, this landmark legislation revolutionized the U.S. response to violence against women and provided critical resources for victims of domestic abuse. In addition, each reauthorization has expanded provisions and significantly enhanced the legislation.
The Republican version of VAWA jeopardizes critical protections and excludes key provisions included in the bipartisan Senate bill, which passed last month by a vote of 68-31.
Specifically, the bill ignores the high rates of dating violence and sexual assault experienced by young people on college campuses, endangers protections for members of Native American and immigrant communities, and fails to include language that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT victims.
“Every victim of domestic abuse deserves support, assistance, and protection,” Congressman Carson said. “It is troubling that during National Women’s Health Week, Republicans are undercutting this effort by turning something that should have been unanimously supported into a partisan issue.”
Carson added, “Those who work daily with victims of domestic violence know this is bad for victims. This bill closes the door of support on countless Americans.”
In addition to the more than 100 national organizations that have voiced opposition to the House GOP bill, many Indianapolis-based organizations have also stepped forward:
HR 4970 would greatly, negatively impact our ability to prosecute domestic violence cases and protect domestic violence victims and witnesses who are most often women and children. I support Congressman Carson in his vote to protect our most vulnerable citizens.
- Terry Curry, Marion County Prosecutor
The Julian Center is opposed to H.R. 4790, the exclusionary version of the Violence Against Women Act known as the Adams Bill. We understand and support a “no” vote by Representative Carson.
H.R. 4790 not only strips important provisions that were passed by a bipartisan Senate vote of 68-31, but also changes and weakens many initiatives and preventive provisions that have been included in VAWA by both Republicans and Democrats over the past 18 years. We must pass a "real" VAWA reauthorization to continue and expand services for victims while holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
- Melissa Pershing, Julian Center
The Domestic Violence Network strongly supports Congressman Carson as he votes No for H.R. 4970, a dangerous version of the Violence Against Women Act that prioritizes partisan politics over victim safety. The passage of H.R. 4970, as written, would increase the victimization of marginalized communities and further endanger immigrant victims by weakening confidentiality requirements.
- Marla Taylor, Domestic Violence Network
In reality, the provisions of H.R. 4970 will further disenfranchise victims of domestic violence and instill an even greater sense of fear. Passing H.R. 4970 will all but ensure victim noncooperation with law enforcement and prosecutors in combating domestic violence.
- Raio Krishnayya, Center for Victim and Human Rights
The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence supports Congressman Carson as he votes No on HR 4970. HR 4970 is bill that would undermine the core principles of the Violence Against Women Act and fails to meet victims’ needs. In fact, it weakens, rather than enhances, protections for victims of domestic violence. The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence supports a bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act that is similar to the Senate-passed bill which provides equal protection for all victims of domestic and sexual violence.
- Laura Berry, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
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