On Thursday the House approved the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, reports the New York Times. The VAWA, which was drafted by Vice President Joe Biden during his time in the Senate, draws from federal funding to implement programming and create shelters for domestic violence and sexual abuse victims. The act also provides assistance to local law enforcement to aid victims.
An alternative to the act, which was unveiled last Friday recieved much criticism dished out by Democrats and women’s rights groups alike, as it failed to include gay, bisexual and transgender victims. It also dropped certain protections that were previously afforded to American Indian women residing on reservations.
Representative Gwen Moore, a Wisconsin Democrat and domestic violence victim expressed the need for this bill to protect all victims.
“I pray that this body will do as the Senate has done and come together as one to protect all women from violence. As I think about the L.G.B.T. victims who are not here, the native women who are not here, the immigrants who aren’t in this bill, I would say, as Sojourner Truth would say, ‘Ain’t they women?’” said Moore.
The newly approved act protects all of the aforementioned groups.
President Obama expressed that he anticipates signing off on the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
“Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse. Today’s vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the L.G.B.T. community. Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk,” said the POTUS.
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.