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Planned Parenthood Applauds Passage of Comprehensive Violence Against Women Act
WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood Federation of America released the following statement applauding Congress for passing an inclusive reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“Today’s long overdue passage of the Violence Against Women Act is a victory for women across the country. It will provide immediate and much-needed protections to millions of women and families,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood understands firsthand the devastating impact that intimate partner violence can have on a woman’s health.
“When a woman is in an abusive relationship, the effect is much broader than just the physical and emotional damage inflicted on her and her family. It creates real public health challenges. Understanding this reality led to the initial development of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, which has had a profound impact on the fight to end violence against women. We applaud the bill’s strengthened protections for the LGBT community, immigrant victims, tribal women, and college students. We are also glad that the legislation includes provisions that give service providers and law enforcement agencies additional tools and resources to combat human trafficking, overcoming an effort in the House to push a partisan bill that would take away critical services for victims of trafficking.”
According to the Justice Department, from 1993 to 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined 64 percent. States have strengthened rape laws, and all states have passed laws making stalking a crime.
Planned Parenthood health centers proactively screen and refer for intimate partner violence in a safe setting, and are committed to their roles as confidential and trusted health services providers. That’s why, across the country, Planned Parenthood staff and supporters work in their local communities on sex education that includes important conversations about healthy relationships, and will continue to be there for women whenever they need help.