Murkowski, Begich back effort to reauthorize act

Alaska’s two U.S. senators are among those hoping to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Mark Begich have joined six other Republicans and 52 Democrats in adding their names added as co-sponsors of the bill.

The bill was signed into law in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005.

The Senate voted to reauthorize the bill last year, but it died in the House. The act diverted funds to help police and combat domestic violence and established programs that offer services and care for domestic abuse victims.

According to the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, 59 percent of women in the state have experienced partner violence, sexual violence or both.