LULAC Applauds House Victory Of Bill To Protect Women Against Gun Violence
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Urges Full Passage of Violence Against Women Act of 2021
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday approved the Violence Against Women Act of 2021 (VAWA) with a vote of 244-to-172 including 29 Republicans who joined Democrats in backing the measure. Also included was an amendment to the bill which provides added protections for domestic violence survivors introduced by Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM) to help prevent women from committing suicide after experiencing trauma.
Elsie Valdes-Ramos - National Vice-President for Women
“We celebrate this landmark win of VAWA 2021 during Women’s History Month, a time set aside to honor the role and contributions of women in our society. It is inconceivable that nearly one-in-two women killed in the United States and Puerto Rico die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. Other sobering facts are that 4.5 million women have been threatened with a gun and nearly one million women have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. Equally troubling is that seven to eight out of every ten victims of domestic violence are often stalked for months before they are killed or nearly killed with a firearm. This proposed law prohibits people convicted of misdemeanor stalking from purchasing or possessing firearms. Plus, it allows law enforcement to use VAWA grants to fund efforts to safely remove firearms from the possession of domestic abusers. One example is the Governor of Puerto Rico who has been taking strong action in the face of increasing attacks against women in the last few months. This is an important step towards a safer life for women.”
Sindy Benavides - LULAC National Chief Executive Officer
“Wednesday’s victory in the House with bipartisan support sends an important and powerful message to members of the U.S. Senate. They can and must complete reauthorization of legislation first authored in 1994 by then Senator Joe Biden. Lawmakers must eliminate loopholes such as the definition of dating or intimate partners and what constitutes stalking. This will allow law enforcement to have the power it needs to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from buying or possessing firearms that are then turned on innocent women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse. Concerning to women is opposition that cites erosion of gun rights over the rights of women to be able to live free of fear from present or past intimate partners. There can absolutely be no question what is more important to any reasonable and law-abiding citizen.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/