Guam – Domestic violence victims in Guam and the CNMI have not been forgotten, and may soon get help, after Congress renewed key domestic abuse laws.
The house passed a Senate amended bill that would give Guam and the CNMI a full state-share of funding to combat domestic violence and help its victims.
The bill passed by a voice vote. It will increases territory funding from $62-thousand 500 a year, to a full state-share of 250-thousand a year.
The vote comes just a day after the manager of Saipan’s Women’s shelter, Lauri Ogumoro, appealed to the CNMI public for help amid overcrowding at the shelter.
Eight thousand miles away, Congressman Greg ‘Kilili’ Camacho Sablan, an original co-sponsor of part of the bill, floor managed the measure for the democrats.
“It will strengthen the coalition against domestic and sexual violence in the Northern Mariana Islands,” said Sablan, “and similar groups working to help victims in other us insular areas.” It will provide funds for shelter, counseling, intervention and prevention.
Kilili worked with Gwen Moore of Wisconsin to include the territories in the bill. “One in four women in this country experiences domestic violence in her life. Every day in this country, an average of three women are killed by a former or current intimate partner.” And one-half to two-thirds of shelter residents are children.
The house-passed bill reauthorizes and improves laws to prevent and address child and spousal abuse, abandoned infants and to increase adoption.