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I called.  I emailed.

I called and spoke to an Emmer aide at the Otsego office. I was shocked that he voted against passing H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. I told the aide I that I wanted to know why Emmer voted against the bill.


I also sent an email, through his website, on the same topic. I voiced my concern about what not supporting the legislation would mean for Shelters and programs serving victims and survivors of domestic violence. 

-Judi Gay,

Annandale, MN

H.R. 1620 had 186 cosponsors of which 2 were Republicans. The Bill passed on March 17, 2021 via a Roll Call Vote: 244/172. 
14 Representatives did not vote. 

Emmer voted Nay.

From Emmer

April 12, 2021

Dear Mrs. Gay,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your support for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. As your Representative for the Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota, your views are very important to me and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994, as a legislative effort to protect women from violent abuse. This legislation administers grants to vitally important programs to address and combat issues like domestic violence, child abuse, and rape. As you know, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, along with a number of additional provisions. Without my support, this legislation passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 244-172.

Unfortunately, this  legislation  became a partisan tool. Democrats failed to hold any  hearing  or markup of the legislation, which stripped Republicans of their  opportunity to provide input on the bill. The VAWA Reauthorization Act includes  partisan provisions, which  led to my decision to oppose the legislation. It includes unproven victim treatment methods, limits the resources available for domestic violence cases, and does not include language providing exemptions for  religious  organizations. 

Like you, I am concerned about domestic violence affecting communities in Minnesota and across the United States. This is why I re-introduced the Abby Honold Act. This legislation  creates a voluntary grant program to train law enforcement personnel and first responders in evidence-based, trauma-informed interview techniques. These techniques can play an important role in preventing the re-traumatization of victims, improving communication between victims and law enforcement, and ensuring that accurate, complete information about the alleged assault is obtained. 

Additionally,  I joined my colleagues in sending a  letter  to House and Senate Leadership urging prioritized funding to support services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Rest assured, I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect victims of sexual assault with the ultimate goal of preventing these heinous criminal acts.

As Representative for the Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota, your opinions on the Violence Against Women  Reauthorization  Act and any other issue are vital to shaping my understanding and work. Thank you for taking the time to contact me, and if I can ever be of help in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.


Tom Emmer
Member of Congress

Apr 12 2021 Emmer response to my email.p
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