September 13, 2013/Press Releases

Statement by Nancy DiNardo on the 19th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act

(Hartford, Connecticut) – On the nineteenth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, Chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic Party Nancy DiNardo released the following statement:

“The Violence Against Women Act was signed into law by President Clinton 19 years ago today under the leadership of then-Senator Joe Biden. In the almost two decades since, this landmark law has improved the criminal justice response to violence against women, ensured that victims and their families have access to the services they need, and we have seen fewer instances of domestic violence.

“When the Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994, as well as when it came up for reauthorization in 2000 and 2005, it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.  This is common-sense legislation that everyone should support.

“Unfortunately that is not the case for today’s Republican Party.

“Last year, Republicans in Congress tried to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, and the majority of the GOP still voted the common-sense legislation earlier this year.  Luckily, Democrats voted unanimously for the reauthorization, and President Obama was able to sign it this year. Republicans’ unwillingness to support the Violence Against Women Act is just one of many examples of the Republican Party opposing legislation that helps women.

“Here in Connecticut, our Democratic elected officials have a strong record of protecting women’s rights.”

Governor Malloy is a tireless fighter for women’s issues from healthcare to paycheck fairness, and has moved Connecticut to the forefront in the fight against domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. The Governor has enacted legislation that protects survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, legislation that cracks down on sexual predators by closing legal loopholes and legislation that requires colleges and universities to implement sexual assault awareness and prevention programs.

Senator Richard Blumenthal co-sponsored the Human Trafficking Reporting Act of 2013, which recognizes more severe forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking that predominantly affects women and children.
Senator Chris Murphy led an effort to provide an additional $5 million to go toward training judges and court personnel on handling domestic violence cases.
Congressman John Larson voted ‘no’ on a bill that would have banned consumers who choose plans with abortion coverage from receiving federal rebates under the ACA.

Congressman Joe Courtney co-sponsored legislation that would make it a crime punishable with prison time to transport girls for the purpose of sexual abuse.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro sponsored the Juvenile Justice System for Girls Act of 2013, which directs criminal justice institutions to increase their focus on specific issues affecting girls — including abuse and violence — who end up in the juvenile justice system.

Congressman Jim Himes voted for military spending legislation that would prohibit military courts from unilaterally setting aside or reducing the penalties for service members convicted of sexual assault.

CongresswomanElizabeth Esty co-sponsored legislation that would provide veterans with counseling and treatment for sexual trauma that occurred during inactive duty training.

While we can be proud of the work we have done on women’s rights in our state, Republicans on a national level are trying to turn back the clock. As Democrats, we will continue to work tirelessly to prevent violence against all Americans.



Roll Call: Republicans Blocked A Conference “Causing VAWA To Languish For Months.” “‘Republicans blocked a conference when Sen. Reid tried to set one up in May, causing VAWA to languish for months. Appointing conferees at this point is simply another transparent delaying tactic by Republicans,’ Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said.  ‘The main difference between the House and Senate versions is that the Senate version is overwhelmingly bipartisan. If Republicans truly want to resolve this issue, they will pass the Senate’s bipartisan compromise right away.’” [Roll Call, 7/31/12]

Republicans Objected To Expanding The Violence Against Women Act To Same-Sex Couples, Immigrants And Tribal Populations And Countered With A Pared-Down Bill That Stripped Them Out. “But last April, when the Senate handed its reauthorization bill off to the House, Republican members balked at three new provisions: one expanded protections for gays and lesbians, another did the same for Native Americans, and a third covered undocumented immigrants. Citing various objections to the expansions, House conservatives promptly countered with a pared-down bill that stripped out all three.” [Daily Beast, 1/29/13]

New York Times Editorial: “House Republicans Have To Decide Which Is More Important: Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence Or Advancing The Harsh Antigay And Anti-Immigrant Sentiments Of Some On Their Party’s Far Right. At The Moment, Harshness Is Winning.” “With Congress just days away from its August break, House Republicans have to decide which is more important: protecting victims of domestic violence or advancing the harsh antigay and anti-immigrant sentiments of some on their party’s far right. At the moment, harshness is winning. At issue is reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, the landmark 1994 law central to the nation’s efforts against domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.” [Editorial, New York Times, 7/24/12]

New York Times Editorial: The Violence Against Women Act Could Pass If Republicans Drop Their “Narrow-Minded Opposition To Stronger Protections For All Victims Of Abuse” – “Republicans Will Bear Responsibility For Blocking Renewal Of A Popular, Lifesaving Initiative.” “Mr. Boehner’s leadership could break the logjam — but that, of course, would also require his Republican colleagues to drop their narrow-minded opposition to stronger protections for all victims of abuse. Unless something changes, Republicans will bear responsibility for blocking renewal of a popular, lifesaving initiative. This seems an odd way to cultivate moderate voters, especially women, going into the fall campaign.” [Editorial, New York Times, 7/24/12


A Large Majority Of House Republicans Voted Against Reauthorizing The Violence Against Women Act.  138 House Republicans voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.  Only 87 voted in favor.  [S. 47, Passage, Vote #55, 2/28/13]

22 Senate Republicans Voted Against Reauthorizing The Violence Against Women Act.  22 Senate Republicans voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.  [S. 47, Passage, Vote #113, 2/12/13]


January 2013: Malloy Created Commission To Address Connecticut’s Gender Pay Gap. According to the Yale Daily News, “Gov. Dannel Malloy announced the creation of a commission to address the gender pay gap in Connecticut in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. The Department of Labor and the Department of Economic and Community Development — which together comprise the commission — have been charged with investigating the factors that contribute to gender wage disparity in Connecticut and recommending policies designed to eliminate it. Malloy has asked the commissioners to make recommendations to address the gender wage gap by October 2013.” [Yale Daily News, 1/25/13]

Malloy Signed Legislation That Expanded Scope Of Family Violence Crimes With Regards To Threatening And Stalking. In June 2012, Governor Malloy signed legislation that specified additional types of family violence crimes and victim protections. The law expanded crimes of threatening and stalking. [Public Act 12-114, Signed 6/8/12]

Malloy Signed Legislation That Expanded Scope Of Family Violence Crimes With Regards To Sexual Violence Against Teenagers. [Public Act 11-152, Signed 7/8/11]

Malloy Signed Legislation Requiring Colleges To Adopt Sexual Assault Policies. In June 2012, Governor Malloy signed legislation that required higher education institutions to adopt and disclose sexual assault policies and educate students, within existing budgetary restrictions, on sexual assault awareness and prevention. [Public Act 12-78, Signed 6/6/12]

Malloy Signed Legislation Closing Sexual Assault Loophole That Advocates Said Made It Difficult To Prosecute Certain Sexual Assault Cases. In May 2013, Governor Malloy signed legislation that closed a loophole in prosecuting sexual assault cases. According to the CT Mirror, “Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to sign a bill eliminating what victim advocates and prosecutors say is a loophole that makes it nearly impossible to prosecute certain sexual assault cases. The bill expands the legal definition of “physically helpless” in the context of sexual assault. Prosecutors and advocates for victims and people with disabilities say the existing definition is too restrictive.” [Public Act 13-47, Signed 5/28/13; CT Mirror, 5/24/13]

Malloy Administration Supported The Federal Violence Against Women Act. [Dannel Malloy, Office Of The Governor Press Release, 2/28/13]

Blumenthal Co-Sponsored Legislation To Require States To Report To The FBI Severe Forms Of Human Trafficking, Including Sex Trafficking. [S. 413, Introduced 2/28/13]

Murphy Led An Effort To Provide An Additional $5 Million To Train Judges On Handling Domestic Violence Cases. [Friends Of Chris Murphy, Accessed 9/13/13]

Larson Voted Against Banning Consumers Who Choose Plans With abortion Coverage From Receiving Federal Rebates Under The Affordable Care Act. [Vote #292, 5/4/11]

Courtney Co-Sponsored Legislation  To Criminalize Transporting Girls For The Purpose of Genital Mutilation. [H.R. 5137, Introduced 4/26/10]

DeLauro Sponsored Legislation To Direct Juvenile Justice Institutions To Focus On Issues Affecting Girls – Including Abuse And Violence. [H.R. 1833, Introduced 5/6/13]

Himes Voted To Prohibit Military Courts From Unilaterally Reducing Penalties For Service Members Convicted Of Sexual Assault. [Vote #244, 6/14/13]

Esty Co-Sponsored Legislation To Provide Aid To Veterans Who Received Sexual Trauma During Inactive Duty Training. [H.R. 2527, Introduced 6/26/13]