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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 17, 2000



Today the Administration called on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for another five years in order to continue keeping women safe from domestic violence. According to the Department of Justice's "Intimate Violence" Special Report, released today, intimate partners -- including current or former spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends -- committed fewer murders in 1996, 1997, and 1998 than in any other year since 1976. This is proof that more women are safer today than they have been in almost a generation.

The report also found that in 1998, women experienced 20.3% fewer violent offenses at the hands of an intimate partner than in 1993. This is evidence that our administration's Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the over $1 billion in grants for law enforcement assistance and battered women shelters which have been made under VAWA are working.

As I travel the country talking to youth, I have found that one of their greatest concerns is the devastating amount of domestic violence in their homes. While the numbers released today are very encouraging, the fact remains that there were still 876,340 violent offenses against women in 1998--down from 1.1 million in 1993. While the work of our administration has been key to reducing domestic violence--we cannot relax our effort to protect women against domestic violence. This is the time to intensify our efforts with the goal of eliminating violence in the home in any form.

That is why I am pledging to work with Congress to reauthorize the important VAWA legislation. And, I reiterate my wholehearted commitment to working with Congress to restore protections struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this week to give victims of gender-motivated violence the power to sue their attackers for lost earnings, medical expenses, and other damages.