WASHINGTON, D.C. – In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) advocated for greater attention to serving victims of domestic violence and abuse in rural areas as the Senate attempts to reach consensus on Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization legislation.
Hyde-Smith was invited to testify at a hearing titled, Renewing and Strengthening the Violence Against Women Act. In addition to citing the hardships faced by victims in rural areas, Hyde-Smith encouraged her colleagues to reauthorize VAWA by abandoning contentious issues that have stalled the law’s renewal for years.
“All of us in Congress can agree that our goal should be to ensure that these women in rural areas—and, indeed all victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and stalking—are protected and receive the services that they need,” Hyde-Smith said.
Hyde-Smith testified that a House-passed VAWA reauthorization bill, which includes many contentious issues, would perpetuate a stalemate existing since 2018 when reauthorization efforts collapsed due to partisan disputes over Second Amendment rights and other issues.
“I call on this committee and Senate Leadership to adopt a reauthorization bill this month that embodies language on which we agree, including a greater emphasis on serving victims in rural areas,” Hyde-Smith said. “In the meantime, I believe we should continue to work together in good faith to resolve the remaining areas where we’ve yet to reach consensus.”
Hyde-Smith, who has supported increased VAWA funding as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the Senate should harness the “same cooperative spirit” displayed this summer when it passed legislation to refortify the Crime Victims Fund, which has experienced declining resources in recent years.