SALEM -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, along with domestic violence advocates and survivors have called on congress to approve an extension of the Violence Against Women law.
The original law took effect in 1994. It allocates federal money to help pay for police and prosecutors trained in domestic violence as well as support programs to help survivors begin a new life.
Teri Doyle, a survivor and now advocate, said the money is critical for anyone trying to leave an abuser. “I see on a daily basis how hard it is to leave and I know first hand how hard it is to leave. There's no easy answer and these agencies, we need them now more than ever,” Doyle said.
Senator Wyden said the law is being held up by squabbling in congress. “This is a law that, day-in and day-out, makes a difference for women in our community; women who otherwise would be victims of brutal domestic violence,” Wyden said.
The senate, controlled by democrats, passed an extension bill that included expanded protections to Native Americans and undocumented immigrants along with gay, lesbian and transgender victims. The house, controlled by republicans, stripped those new groups back out of the bill. Because of that, the extension bill is currently stuck, waiting for a compromise.