This Sunday on Mother’s Day we honor extraordinary mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, and sisters. Individually – often with chocolate, flowers or special meals -- we honor their dedication as caregivers, breadwinners, peacemakers, organizers, chauffeurs and confidantes. It’s a great opportunity to convey love and appreciation.
But honoring individuals is just the first step. I believe we can honor them collectively by working for a society free of domestic violence.
Last month, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a bipartisan law which is central to our national effort to reduce domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. I cosponsored VAWA when it was originally enacted in 1994, and have cosponsored and supported every reauthorization since. It continues to be as important today as it was in 1994.
VAWA programs help stop batterers and provide victims with support they need to recover and rebuild their lives. VAWA builds upon proven prevention and support strategies and includes new ways to address the changing and still unmet needs of victims.
VAWA has been a success story over the past 18 years because it encourages communities to more effectively and efficiently respond to domestic violence. Working together, law enforcement, judges, domestic violence shelters, victim advocates, healthcare providers, and faith-based advocates are able to better prosecute abusers and protect and aid the women, men and children who find themselves in dangerous and potentially life-threatening relationships.
If our families struggle, we all struggle and on this Mother’s Day when we are honoring the extraordinary women in our lives, I want to thank you for keeping our families strong.