July 17, 2018

HOUSE PASSES KENNEDY BILL TO ASSIST DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE SURVIVORS

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy III today applauded the bipartisan passage of his POWER Act, which would help connect victims with legal representation. Studies have shown that survivors who can afford or have access to a lawyer successfully obtain restraining orders in 83% of cases, compared to 32% without a lawyer. The bill is originally co-sponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

“Too many survivors of domestic and sexual violence in this country are forced to stand alone in our courtrooms reliving their pain and suffering without access to a lawyer. As a domestic violence prosecutor, I saw an unjust justice system through the eyes of survivors – as an endless, impossible maze that led them back towards the violence and abuse they had just escaped. By passing the POWER Act, we can connect those women and men with the legal assistance they deserve.”

The POWER Act would require each U.S. District Court to host annual public events supporting pro bono legal services for survivors of sexual and domestic violence over the next four years. The chief judges of each district court would report to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts which will then compile a single report to Congress each year summarizing the events and discussing their effectiveness.

Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), introduced and passed a companion version in the Senate. To read the legislation, please click here. Senate approval of this amended bill would send the bill to the President for his signature into law.

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For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2018 

Contact:
Dan Black (202) 225-5931

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