Newly elected Arizona Representative Ann Kirkpatrick on the Violence Against Women Act (from her website): "Passed 19 years ago, this landmark legislation focused the resources, time, and energy of federal, state, and local law enforcement on the task of preventing and stopping domestic abuse, while providing victims of violence with critical services and assistance. VAWA has improved the criminal justice system’s ability to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable. Based on this legislation, every state has enacted laws to make stalking a crime and strengthened criminal rape statutes. Since VAWA became law, the annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50 percent – and reporting of domestic violence has increased as much as 51 percent. VAWA has successfully encouraged communities and law enforcement agencies to coordinate their responses to violence against women and provide effective, long-term support for victims. "
An excerpt from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's 2011 statement on VAWA, from his website: "A review of individual VAWA grantee audits that were conducted from 1998-2010 by the Department of Justice Inspector General indicates that the problem with VAWA grantees’ administration and record keeping may actually be getting worse. During this timeframe, the Inspector General conducted a review of 22 individual grantees that received funding from VAWA programs. Of those 22 grantees, 21 were found to have some form of violation of grant requirements ranging from unauthorized and unallowable expenditures, to sloppy record keeping and failure to report in a timely manner. Some of these audits are downright appalling. In 2010, one grantee was found by the Inspector General to have questionable costs for 93 percent of the nearly $900,000 they received from the Justice Department. Another audit, this one from 2009, found that nearly $500,000 of a $680,000 grant was questioned because of inadequate support for expenditures. Another audit in 2005 questioned $1.2 million out of a $1.9 million grant. The list goes on and on for pages. Simply put, in today’s economic environment, we cannot tolerate this level of malfeasance in federal grant programs. There are too many victims out there that do not have access to necessary services for the Justice Department to continue to provide funding to entities that play fast and loose with taxpayer dollars."
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