Vermont Witness To Be Joined By Actress Gabrielle Union At Hearing Before Leahy Panel

WASHINGTON – The Director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Karen Tronsgard-Scott, will testify June 10 before a panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy.   The hearing will focus on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which supports the work of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, courts, shelters, and other programs to stem domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.  The Act was signed into law in 1994. 

Leahy has also invited actress Gabrielle Union to testify at the hearing.  Union has appeared in dozens of movies and television programs.  A crime survivor herself, Union is also a vocal advocate for victims of sexual assault.

The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence was established more than 20 years ago to provide a statewide resource on domestic and sexual violence issues.

Also testifying at the hearing will be Catherine Pierce, the Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, and Ann Burke, the President and Found of the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund, a fund to support the prevention of relationship violence through education. 

In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the Leahy-authored Improving Assistance to Domestic Violence Victims Act.  The bill will help address the needs of domestic violence victims by strengthening key components of VAWA.  Leahy is expected to begin work on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which is slated to expire in September 2011.

The hearing on “The Continued Importance of the Violence Against Women Act” will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10 in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington.  The hearing will be webcast live online.

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