Hilda Solis

VAWA Reauthorization - Oct. 28, 2005

Hilda Solis
October 28, 2005— U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
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Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, I rise today to highlight the issue as it affects minority communities.

Although domestic violence is blind to race and ethnicity, racial and ethnic minority women, immigrant women, face unique challenges to reporting and getting help for domestic violence.

Just this morning, I learned that the manager's amendment to today's VAWA reauthorization bill strikes the language "racial and ethnic minorities" from the definition of underserved communities.

After all the bipartisan work that we have been conducting for the past year on this particular reauthorization, I am outraged that at the last minute, Republican leadership is shortchanging women of color who are victims of domestic violence.

We must acknowledge the devastating effect that domestic violence has on all communities, community of colors. That means African Americans, Latinos and Asians and all other ethnic groups.

Our efforts to educate the public about domestic violence must directly address factors like cultural differences, linguistic differences and immigration status. By removing this language, we are exacerbating the problem of domestic violence in communities of color.

My hope is that the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is comprehensive and meets all the needs of all women in our country.