Violence Against Women Act Passed By Senate

Senate Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, paving way for the House to vote on it.

The act expired in 2011 and has put efforts to improve several government problems on hold. The House and the Senate both passed separate replacement bills, but were unable to come to an agreement.

The Senate voted 78-22 to renew the two-decade-old act, which has helped shield millions of women from abuse, reports USA Today. It has also helped to reduce the national rate of domestic violence.

Senator Parry Murray (D-WA) stated of the act’s passing:

“Over 160 million women across the country are watching and waiting to see if the House will act on this bill and finally provide them the protections from violence they deserve.”

House Republicans, aware of the lackluster support they received from women voters in the last election, have bowed to expedite the Violence Against Women Act issue. Yahoo! News notes that they are led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Cantor has taken the lead on negotiations of the bill. Seventeen House Republicans also wrote Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), asking that they act immediately. They wrote that the act’s “programs save lives, and we must allow states and communities to build upon the successes of current VAWA programs so that we can help even more people.”

President Obama praised the Senate for passing the Violence Against Women Act. He explained, “The bill passed by the Senate will help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide justice to the most vulnerable among us.”

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