The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed by both houses Saturday, authorizing almost $4 billion over the next five years, and now awaits the President’s signature. The compromised version of VAWA was approved as part of the Justice Department budget, passing the Senate on Friday and the House on Saturday. The reauthorization broadens efforts to combat violence against women with more focus on prevention strategies, culturally specific services, and enhanced services for victims with disabilities, and it broadens services to include children and teenagers. The 2005 bill authorizes 21 percent more funding than the version passed in 2000.
“This legislation will go far in providing protection for these women and their families,” Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA) told the Associated Press. The SHIELD Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), which exempts domestic violence shelters from providing identifying information to Housing and Urban Development, passed along with the rest of VAWA.