Washington, DC – Today members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council expressed deep concern about the House of Representatives’ failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins-Boseman of Camden, South Carolina, chair of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, released the following statement:
“Violence against women is an issue that affects everyone in America, but it disproportionately impacts women of color. The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that more than a third of Hispanic women and nearly 44% of black women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
“For 18 years, the Violence Against Women Act has helped women across America avoid and combat domestic violence, making the country safer for every American. Thanks to VAWA, the rate of intimate partner violence fell by 67% between 1993 and 2010. The bottom line is that it’s an effective, life-saving law.
“As faith leaders, we feel that it is important to speak out in support of those who are most vulnerable to violence and abuse. The members of Congress who blocked VAWA aren’t just insulting women; they’re actively putting women’s lives in danger. Congress should act quickly in this new year to reauthorize this critically important program.”