The US Senate voted 68 to 31 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) today. The bill is the first to include access to law enforcement and services for Native American women, better access for immigrant women who fear deportation if they report violence, and better access for LGBT victims. The bill now moves to the US House of Representatives.
Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, praising the action taken by the Senate today, said “Violence is violence and VAWA must cover all victims. The House must move promptly to pass the Senate bill without amendments and not a watered down substitute.”
In the almost 18 years since VAWA was initially passed, millions have benefited from its provisions. Between 1993 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined by 67%. VAWA established the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which receives over 22,000 calls each month and VAWA funds train over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other personnel each year.
Feminist Majority Press Release 4/26/12
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