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VAWA's nineteenth anniversary
9/18/2013 12:52:45 PM

Dear Friend,

In 1994 the federal government passed landmark legislation that revolutionized how we deal with domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking in America. Local, state, and federal authorities were given greater authority to pursue and prosecute the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

The law is called the Violence Against Women Act. It was signed on September 13, 1994. And it was originally crafted by Delaware's then-Senator Joe Biden.

Rates of domestic violence have dropped 64 percent in the nineteen years since my father introduced the Violence Against Women Act. It's an accomplishment to be proud of, but there is still much work to be done.

Tragically, three women are killed each day in the United States by abusive husbands or partners. One in five women will experience a sexual assault in college.

We must continue to shine a huge spotlight on domestic violence in America, and make sure law enforcement officers at every level have the tools they need to save lives.

Here in Delaware, we created the Family Division, one of the first of its kind in the country, to focus specifically on cases involving children and families. We also strengthened our state's protection from abuse orders to give more protection for domestic violence survivors -- protection from abuse orders are now in effect longer, and in the most severe cases, the orders can now be in effect for the rest of the survivor's life. And earlier this year, we passed universal background check legislation for firearm purchases, which we know will keep guns away from more abusers.

Our commitment to the protection of women and their families in Delaware cannot fade with time. Join me in continuing to ensure that we have the resources to serve the victims of domestic violence and bring those responsible to justice.

-Beau Biden

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