October 1, 2012
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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I hope you’ll join me in raising awareness so that we can eliminate violence against women and ensure victims have the resources needed to heal and seek justice.

I was pleased to attend a briefing today with the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence and discuss their effective program to reduce violence here in Maryland. Their Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) identifies victims of domestic violence and immediately connects them to the domestic violence service providers in their area. Since its implementation, domestic homicides in Maryland have fallen by 40 percent. It’s clear this program is making a difference in our communities, and I am committed to supporting these efforts so we can see an end to domestic violence in our state.

Throughout my career, I have been a strong supporter of efforts to reduce domestic violence and connect victims with those who can help. I’m proud to have been a co-sponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994, which has provided resources to help victims heal and to allow law enforcement officials to bring those responsible to justice. While it has had a significant impact, we need to do more. That’s why I have been calling on the House to take up the Senate’s bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which contains provisions strongly supported by law enforcement and advocates for victims of domestic violence. The Senate legislation passed by a bipartisan vote of 68-31.

Traditionally, both sides of the aisle have come together to support domestic violence legislation, and I hope that when Congress returns to Washington after the election we can take up this critical bill so that we can strengthen our efforts to address domestic violence in Maryland and across the country.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you, and please continue to share your concerns and insights with me by contacting my office or connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

With warmest regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Steny H. Hoyer

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