Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) offered an amendment to the FY2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act (H.R. 2578) that would increase funding for two Department of Justice programs.
Brownley’s amendment would provide an additional $3 million for sexual assault victims assistance programs, authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It would also provide an additional $3 million for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program.
“My amendment would have helped provide law enforcement and counseling resources to survivors of sexual assault and to the most vulnerable segment of our society, our precious children, who are at risk of online exploitation,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I am disappointed that the Majority would not support my amendment to bolster these essential programs to protect women and children.”
According to the Office on Violence Against Women, the Violence Against Women Act has led to significant improvements in the criminal and civil justice system and has lowered rates of assault and rape. Between 1993 and 2012, the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner declined by 37% for women and 63% for men, and annual rates of domestic violence dropped by 64% from 1993 to 2010.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program provides forensic, prevention, and investigative assistance to law enforcement professionals, educators, prosecutors, families, and others concerned about child victimization issues. In 2014 alone, 7,800 individuals were arrested and the Task Forces around the country conducted over 60,000 forensic investigations.
Brownley’s amendment failed by a vote of 184 to 240.
Watch Congresswoman Brownley’s remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8yQ01TKcxI&feature=youtu.be