A bill that would establish a permanent Violence Against Women Office within the Department of Justice (DOJ) was approved, by voice vote, by the House on July 23 as part of legislation (H.R. 2215) that would reauthorize the DOJ.
Based on legislation (H.R. 28) sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the provision would set up a permanent office to oversee the administration of the Violence Against Women Act. The director of the office would be appointed by the President and would report to the Deputy Attorney General.
Rep. Slaughter explained that the current office at the Justice Department “only exists by administrative order and could be abolished at any time.” She added, “Establishing the Violence Against Women Office permanently within the Department of Justice responds to the growing problem of domestic violence and ensures the continued coordination of support, education, and assistance initiatives from the national to the community level.”
Speaking in support of the legislation, Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD) stated, “By including this provision, we have another opportunity to strengthen the federal government’s commitment to helping victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.”