The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), along with the Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Act, passed a joint House-Senate conference committee by a vote of 356-28.
This version of the Violence Against Women Act will provide $3 billion for battered women’s services and state programs to combat domestic violence, and extends the 1994 version of the bill with new additions for five years. It also provides training for judges on domestic violence and sexual assault cases. The Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Act provides $94.5 million and special visas for victims of sex trafficking and other forms of slavery. It also establishes programs to fight the trafficking of women and children, as well as harsh punishments for perpetrators.
This multi-issue anti-crime bill is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate on October 10. Until today, Republican leaders in Congress had been stalling VAWA’s reauthorization. Feminist leaders and Congresswomen have been demanding a vote on this important bill.