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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Group says Rubio 'failed to grasp' importance of VAWA



The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence today criticized Sen. Marco Rubio's vote against the Violence Against Women Act, saying he "failed to grasp" the importance.

Rubio said after yesterday's vote that he opposed it because it took some funding away from domestic violence programs. But the Florida group said the impact is overstated.

"According to data from the Office on Violence Against Women, Florida spent 18% of its STOP federal funding on sexual assault in 2009 and 16% in 2010. This would seem to suggest that Senator Rubio’s vote was based on a 4% shift of Florida’s STOP funds. Yet, S. 1925 makes it clear that the sexual assault set-aside funds can be used to respond to domestic violence cases where sexual violence is a factor, so the impact of such a shift could ultimately be even smaller."

"FCASV welcomes the oversight, guidance and sharing of best practices offered by the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, created in 2002 under the Bush Administration, as Florida continues to implement these significant federal funding sources.

"FCASV staff met with Senator Rubio’s staff twice in D.C. to talk at length about the research and need to support the investigation, prosecution and victim services response to sexual assault in Florida. We realized yesterday, with deep sadness, that Senator Rubio failed to grasp both the importance of VAWA to individual victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and its importance to the nation's response to these devastating crimes. We commend Congresswoman Sandy Adams for including strong sexual assault provisions including modest set-asides in her VAWA reauthorization legislation introduced today. It is our fervent desire that Senator Rubio find a way to support the conference report on VAWA with these set-asides intact."

[Last modified: Friday, April 27, 2012 3:58pm]


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