The House of Representatives gave final approval to a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act yesterday. Republican Aaron Schock voted for the bill, which contains the McCollum-Schock International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act.
The amendment requires the U.S. to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent child marriage and to promote the empowerment of girls at risk of child marriage in developing countries. An estimated 10 million girls are married before the age of 18 each year, some as young as seven.
Schock worked with Democratic Congresswoman Betty McCollum on the legislation. He took a trip to Ethiopia with the humanitarian group CARE in September 2010, where he says he saw the problem of child marriage first-hand.
Schock says the Violence Against Women Act aims to provide assistance, programs and supports safe havens for women who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. He says thousands of reported cases happen in his district each year.
The legislation passed on a vote of 286-138. Congressman Rodney Davis also voted in favor.