The National Task Force Against Sexual and Domestic Violence expresses its strong opposition to the Cantor-Adams version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization that was introduced earlier today. It weakens or deletes entirely some of the vital improvements in the Senate bill, including the strong provisions that are designed to increase the safety of Native women and the needs of the LGBT community.
The bill also contains damaging provisions that create obstacles for immigrant victims seeking to report crimes, increase danger for immigrant victims by eliminating important confidentiality protections, undermine effective anti-fraud protections, and roll back years of progress to protect the safety of immigrant victims. That is not a bill that the Task Force, comprised of thousands of experts, law enforcement and advocates across the country, can support.The Senate bill that was passed on Thursday was the product of significant input from experts in the law enforcement and advocacy fields, and was only introduced after the many interested communities had had a chance to review it, and offer suggestions, and improvements, and raise concerns. While there are portions of the House bill that mirror the Senate bill and are supported by the field, we continue to oppose the problematic sections included in it. The House has the opportunity to conduct a similarly deliberative process, and we hope that like the Senate, the result will be a strong bi-partisan bill that strengthens protections for all survivors of violence.