Congressman Pete Gallego (D-Alpine), along with Congressman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), introduced a bipartisan amendment to the House floor yesterday to address funding cuts proposed towards domestic violence programs. The amendment added an additional $5 million to be split evenly by the Office of Violence Against Women-Prevention and Prosecution, and the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement program. These important domestic violence programs are part of the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice Science Appropriations Bill.
Gallego's amendment was adopted unanimously by the chamber.
Comments by Gallego detailing the importance of domestic violence programs below the jump.
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Gallego Amendment Increases Funding for Domestic Violence Programs
Washington – U.S. Representative Pete P. Gallego (D-Alpine) on Thursday introduced a bipartisan amendment to add an additional $5 million for domestic violence programs as part of the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice Science Appropriations Bill. The amendment was designed to address proposed funding cuts for these important programs. The Amendment includes an additional $2.5 million for the Office of Violence Against Women-Prevention and Prosecution and an additional $2.5 million to the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement program. The Gallego Amendment was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and was adopted unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Grants are often the lifeblood of rural family violence shelters across Texas' 23rd District. As a parent and a former prosecutor, it is important to me that women, children, and teenagers have access to resources, such as counseling and healthcare, to overcome any type of violence or stalking. It is equally important that protocols are in place to help law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judges bring these criminals to justice,” U.S. Rep. Gallego said. “The amendment I offered would increase the proposed funding levels for domestic violence programs in rural areas where other resources are often scarce.”
The Office of Violence Against Women-Prevention and Prosecution is designed to prevent violence against women, to offer victims safety and justice, and to hold offenders accountable.
The Rural Grant Program enhances the safety of children, youth, and adults who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural areas of the country.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by a partner each year. About 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. And females, ages 20 to 24 years old, are at the greatest risk of nonfatal violence from a partner.
According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every two minutes, another American is sexually assaulted. Each year, there are about 237,868 victims of sexual assault. About 60 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police, and 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. Approximately two-thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, and 38 percent of rapists are a friend or acquaintance. Forty-four percent of victims are under the age of 18 and 80 percent of victims are under the age of 30.
U.S. Representative Pete P. Gallego, D-Alpine, represents the 23rd District of Texas, which includes all or parts of 29 counties in southwest Texas, stretching from San Antonio to El Paso. He serves on the House Armed Services and House Agriculture Committees.
You can watch Congressman Gallego introduce his amendment here: