The following is Mayor Bloomberg's statement on the U.S. Senate passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act:
“The bipartisan passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act in the U.S. Senate today signals a strong commitment to the continuation of programs and services that have provided lifesaving assistance to hundreds of thousands of victims of domestic violence. The funding from this program has been used to establish the City’s innovative Family Justice Centers, which have reduced the barriers faced by victims of domestic violence who are seeking help by providing victims one location where they can meet with a prosecutor, speak with a trained counselor, apply for housing and financial assistance and more.
“The bill that passed today will follow New York City’s lead and expand these vital domestic violence services to immigrant and lesbian, gay, and transgendered people. These communities experience the highest rates of violence and often have the most difficulty in accessing services. And in recognition of the persistent problem of sexual violence, today’s bill also will strengthen the capacity of local, state and federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute these crimes.
“While there is further progress that must be made, today’s reauthorization is an important step forward in protecting victims of domestic violence. I would like to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their continued leadership on this issue and all the Senators who voted for this important legislation today.”