For Immediate Release February 28, 2013 Contact:
WASHINGTON, DC--- The National Center for Victims of Crime applauds the House of Representatives for its bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, sending the bill to the President for his signature. We thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for championing the rights of all victims.
Among the landmark extensions to the Act, this reauthorization explicitly requires that stalking be addressed by colleges and universities. Campus authorities must record and report instances of stalking, establish policies on responding to stalking, and provide education and prevention programming on stalking.
“Over 6 million people are stalked each year in the United States,” said Mai Fernandez, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. “Stalking is a serious crime, and one that is often the precursor to other serious crimes such as sexual assault and homicide.” The National Center for Victims of Crime is the home of the Stalking Resource Center, which works to enhance the recognition of and response to stalking across the country.
The reauthorized VAWA will also strengthen programs that address sexual assault, domestic and dating violence—including provisions that prohibit discrimination against LGBT victims in the provision of victim support, give tribal authorities the means to hold offenders accountable, and extend protections to undocumented immigrants who are victims of violent crime.
The new legislation also provides increased support for sexual assault services and rape prevention and education programs, and for reducing the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. It also creates the first specific federal protections for sexual assault victims in public housing.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. Visit www.victimsofcrime.org for more information.