KMA Land: House adopts Axne amendment to Violence Against Women Act
April 4, 2019
(Washington, D.C.) — The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment from Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne Thursday that would increase funding to combat violent crimes against women.
Axne offered the amendment to the Violence Against Women Act, which is up for re-authorization in the House this week. Axne’s amendment would increase funding for STOP Grants from $40 million to $60 million. Speaking on the House floor, Axne says STOP Grants are a vital tool for local law enforcement and prosecutors.
“I’ve met with local police officers and sheriffs throughout my district,” said Axne. “They all tell me that they are under-resourced and understaffed. I promised them that I would do anything in my power to make sure they get what they need to protect our communities. STOP Grants also provide prosecutors with the proper tools and resources they need to get justice for survivors and prosecute those who commit violence against women.”
STOP Grants also provide funding for victim service organizations to assist in the recovery from violent crimes. As a state employee from 2005-to-2014, Axne says she saw firsthand the impact organizations can have on victims. Speaking on KMA’s Morning Line program Wednesday, she says funding recovery is imperative.
“One of the groups I worked with early on at the state was the Crime Victims Assistance Unit,” said Axne. “I was brought to help them — unfortunately — fix their processes so that they could help more clients, because they had so many victims that they had to address. I know that in Iowa — I’ve seen it firsthand — that we don’t have enough resources to address the needs we have here, which means we have too much violence against women.”
Republicans in the House opposed Axne’s amendment, citing a lack of a funding stream for the increase. In response, Axne says savings can be found elsewhere to cover the needed increases.
“Our debt can be looked at in many ways to amend,” said Axne. “However, our local police officers, our local communities and our organizations that support victims with assistance are in dire need of the additional funding. I would argue that this administration is the cause of this major debt that we have, and we should not take that out on our local communities that I know are supported across the aisle.”
The House is scheduled to vote Thursday to re-authorize the act from 1994. The VAWA lapsed in February and the updated version includes expansions to transgender rights and more restrictions on gun rights for those convicted of misdemeanor or felony domestic abuse and stalking charges.