"Especially in rural communities like West Virginia where victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in rural and remote communities face unique obstacles in their efforts to escape abusive and dangerous relationships, support provided by VAWA can literally be lifesaving," Capito said.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline, created under VAWA, receives more than 22,000 calls a month.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who voted for the original version of the bill in 1994, plans to reintroduce new VAWA legislation in the near future.
"House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor refused to budge. Ignoring voices in their own party and the clear message sent by American women in the last election, they instead decided to side with the far right wing of their party by allowing the bill to expire," Murray told CNN in a statement updated Friday afternoon.
Murray criticized the "political gamesmanship" in Congress.
"Every moment the House continues to delay is another moment vulnerable women are left without protections they deserve....
"One of our absolute first priorities must be passing an inclusive and bipartisan bill to extend protections to the millions of new women included in the Senate bill. As a nation, we cannot accept further discrimination or delay from House Republican leaders."
"Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act continues to be a top priority for me. As the former president of a YWCA that was a leader in combating domestic violence, this is an issue I care very deeply about," Capito said last week.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.