Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith advocated for greater attention to be given in serving victims of domestic violence and abuse in rural areas before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate is working to reach an agreement on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization legislation.

The hearing was entitled Renewing and Strengthening the Violence Against Women Act.  In addition to citing the hardships faced by victims in rural areas, Hyde-Smith encouraged her colleagues to reauthorize VAWA by abandoning contentious issues that have stalled the law’s renewal for years.

“All of us in Congress can agree that our goal should be to ensure that these women in rural areas—and, indeed all victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and stalking—are protected and receive the services that they need,” Hyde-Smith said.

The House has already passed the VAWA reauthorization bill. It includes many issues, would perpetuate a stalemate existing since 2018 when reauthorization efforts collapsed due to partisan disputes over Second Amendment rights and other issues.

Hyde-Smith support increased VAWA funding as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and encouraged fellow Senators to harness the “same cooperative spirit” displayed in the passage of the Crime Victims Fund, which had seen a decline in funding over recent years.

“I call on this committee and Senate Leadership to adopt a reauthorization bill this month that embodies language on which we agree, including a greater emphasis on serving victims in rural areas,” Hyde-Smith said.  “In the meantime, I believe we should continue to work together in good faith to resolve the remaining areas where we’ve yet to reach consensus.”