June 15, 2005

CRAPO COMMITS TO KEEP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUNDS

Encourages men to participate in awareness and prevention efforts

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo told participants at a national domestic violence prevention forum in Washington, DC, today that he is committed to preserving a federal trust fund dedicated to victims of crime related to domestic violence. During the speech to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Crapo also called on men to take a larger role in preventing domestic violence by mentoring and serving as examples for other men.Crapo has also signed on to co-sponsor the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has just been introduced in the Senate. The measure will provide $795 million a year over a five-year period in grants to states and localities to address all aspects of violence against women. Shelters and services in Idaho are funded to a large extent with federal dollars.â??Men have a particularly important role to play in raising awareness of and preventing this terrible crime,â?? Crapo told the National Network gathering. â??As responsible and moral partners, we must step up to the plate and set an example in our homes and communities, by not tolerating destructive behavior and by confronting those who persist in this behavior. Sexual and domestic violence is not a â??womenâ??s issue;â?? it is societyâ??s issue that poisons communities regardless of economics, race, or whether the community is rural or urban.â??Crapo noted progress is being made to preserve the $1.2 billion set aside in the Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA) trust fund. The VOCA funding is collected through federal fines, not through any taxes, but the Office of Management and Budget wants to transfer the dollars into the general fund. Crapo has led the effort thus far in the Senate to stop the transfer. The issue is pending in a Senate subcommittee; a similar committee in the House has already rejected the idea.â??Overall cuts in the federal budget are necessary, but fiscal restraint can be done responsibly,â?? Crapo told the group. â??We cannot discontinue valuable, life-saving programs that rescue and safeguard women, children and men who are victims of domestic violence. I support full funding for the Violence Against Women Act and will continue to see that needed resources are made available. The reauthorization this year is more than double the amount of the original bill eleven years ago and it represents an increase of $66 million over the bill passed in 2000.â?? Crapo encouraged the group to advise lawmakers in their states about the need for the legislation. Crapo also noted passage of the VAWA legislation is vitally important to tribal members, many of which do not have immediate assistance available. â??VAWA has a specific section addressing the crisis of violence against Indian women. Statistics nationally show that Native American women are stalked, battered and raped at a much higher rate than any other group of people,â?? Crapo said. â??Under current law, tribal governments cannot impose sentencing or fines commensurate with the crimes of rape and battery on non-natives. Laws must be changed in order that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.â??# # #