CHICAGO, IL â€“ Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Houseâ€™s renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
â€œThe organizations that serve victims of domestic violence do much more than provide a safe haven for women. They offer victims a chance to build a new life free from abuse,â€ said Simon, a lawyer who prosecuted domestic battery cases. â€œI thank Congress for renewing the Violence Against Women Act, extending federal support for these crisis organizations and expanding protections for vulnerable communities. I welcome this opportunity to continue working to help rape victims, reduce violence on college campuses and end domestic abuse.â€
Simonâ€™s Firearms Working Group, which is examining gun issues in Illinois, met yesterday in Springfield with advocates to learn about the impact guns have in domestic violence.
The Violence Against Women Act was originally passed in 1994 and among other services, it helps support organizations that provide services to victims of domestic violence. The act also strengthened federal law by toughening sentences for individuals convicted of stalking. The act has already passed the U.S. Senate and now heads to President Obama.
Nationally, one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.