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As congress is on break, Senator Al Franken (D. MN) is spending his time with local authorities promoting the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau on Monday highlighted the recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act during a Minneapolis news conference.

The bill provides funding to help local law enforcement respond to and prosecute domestic violence crimes.

Franken said the new act also improves protections for Native American, LGBT and immigrant victims.

"I wrote a couple provisions in the act, one, so that women, if they are raped, no longer will have to pay for their rape kits," Franken said. "Believe it or not, that's something that women have had to do, have had the humiliation of having to pay for their own rape kit."

Franken also sponsored a provision that would prevent victims of domestic violence from being evicted from federally subsidized housing. - Minnesota Public Radio, 4/1/13

Franken was joined by Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau in promoting the VAWA:

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau says the bill would also help police on the street.

The bill will also help in the collection of evidence at the scene, which should lead to better conviction rates.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal says if authorities can intervene early, they can stop the escalation of domestic violence.

She shared a story about a 3-year-old child, who tried to stop his father from hitting his mother with a belt. He told police to do what they had to do to help his mother. - CBS Minnesota, 4/1/13

Harteau thanked Franken for his efforts to get the VAWA reauthorized and Franken highlighted the importance of the VAWA in law enforcement:

“Women in Minnesota – and around the country – should be free from domestic and sexual violence, and our nation’s laws should do everything possible to make that a reality,” said Sen. Franken. “The Violence Against Women Act is an important part of the fight to end violence against women, and I’m pleased that it includes two provisions I wrote to protect victims of these terrible crimes. Today, I was proud to stand with Chief Harteau, and so many of Minnesota’s leaders in the fight against domestic and sexual violence, to talk about how this important legislation will protect women in our state.”
“The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been a catalyst to help our collaborative efforts and enable us to raise awareness in the community to stop violence against women and children,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau. “Because of VAWA and Senator Franken’s support and efforts with this Act, we have been able to fund innovative programs necessary for us to work more effectively with victims. We are also now better equipped to protect our community in breaking this cycle of violence.”

The bill includes Sen. Franken’s Survivors of Sexual Assault Act, which ensures that survivors of sexual assault are never forced to pay for their own rape kits. It also included his Housing Rights for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence Act, which would make it unlawful to evict a woman from federally supported housing just because she is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. - Hometown Source, 4/2/13

Glad to see Senator Franken working with local law enforcement to make sure the VAWA is properly utilized while congress is on break.  Laws like the VAWA are just one of several reasons why we need to keep Franken in the Senate.  If you want to donate to his re-election campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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