Earlier this month, the Senate reauthorized an LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)in a 78-22 bipartisan vote. Today, the House did the same.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of the bi-partisan Senate Bill S.47, which re-authorizes a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by a vote of 286 to 138. The bi-partisan version of S. 47 includes explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. We thank the all of the bill’s supporters for standing up for all survivors of violence and for putting lives before politics. This historic legislative victory for LGBTQ communities comes as a direct result of tireless efforts on the part of NCAVP members and our national partners, including the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBT Bar Association, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force among others.
“Today’s House vote explicitly includes LGBTQ survivors of violence in VAWA, our nation’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking,” said Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “This legislation ends the silence and isolation that so many LGBTQ survivors have felt, makes LGBT survivors visible and central to our national response to domestic and sexual violence, and says to all survivors of violence: you matter and there is support for you.”
President Obama released a statement on the bill's passage:
I was pleased to see the House of Representatives come together and vote to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. 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 LGBT community. The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for both international and domestic victims of trafficking and helping ensure traffickers are brought to justice. I want to thank leaders from both parties – especially Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Leahy – for everything they’ve done to make this happen. 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.