Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

VAWA

Feb 28 2013

WASHINGTON, February 28 -

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Mr. Speaker, violence against women is awful. I think we can all agree with that. Behind the scenes in homes throughout America, behind closed doors bad things are happening in those families.  It is violent. It affects the spouse, the children, and the quality of life of our community. Today, the House of Representatives can do something about that to make America safer for women, primarily, and their children. We have two choices before us today: the House bill, the Senate bill.

But thereís another thing going on behind closed doors in America as well, and thatís sexual assault that is occurring in America. I spent time on the bench as a judge in criminal cases in Texas for 22 years; and one of the greatest scientific, forensic discoveries was DNA. Itís helped prosecute sexual assault cases.

DNA: when those outlaws commit sexual assault crimes against primarily women and children, they leave DNA evidence, itís examined, and we find out who the criminal was. But hereís the problem: there are 400,000 DNA rape kits that have not been tested, some going back 20 and 25 years. Theyíre so old that when itís determined who the outlaw is, they canít be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run; 400,000 cases where rape victims are waiting for us to just analyze those sexual assault cases.

That concept is called the SAFER bill, sponsored by Carolyn Maloney and myself to try to fix that issue by taking money in one legislation and putting it in the SAFER legislation to analyze those 400,000 cases so victims know who committed the crime, and also outlaws go to prison and not get a free ride because thereís not money to test those cases.

That SAFER bill is in the Senate version. I encourage the House of Representatives to vote for the SAFER bill because it is in the Senate legislation.

And thatís just the way it is.

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