WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:
“AFGE thanks Representative Karen Bass of California for her leadership in introducing legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act, HR 1585. Congress first passed this law in 1994 to protect survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, but as a result of the government shutdown the law expired and must be reauthorized. Every day that Congress fails to reauthorize this bill is another day that victims of domestic and sexual abuse go without the help they need. AFGE strongly supports this legislation and urges Congress to pass this bill without delay.
“This important legislation establishes a coordinated response to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and similar crimes that includes victim advocates, law enforcement, the judicial system, and community partners. As reauthorized, this bill would provide additional grant money to strengthen how the health care system responds to these issues, help save lives by restricting gun ownership by domestic violence offenders, and expand existing protections to include transgender victims.
“Millions of Americans experience domestic or sexual violence each year. This type of violence and abuse affects victims in the short-term and chronically, and it imposes a significant economic burden on victims and communities.
“AFGE represents more than 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers who deserve to live in a world where they do not experience violence at the hands of their partners. This is a women’s and civil rights issue that impacts our members and all workers across the country. AFGE stands with all victims of domestic assault and urges Congress to pass HR 1585 and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.”