Leahy 'pleased' Senate will take up VAWA again

On Monday, the Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to S. 47 and then continue to work on the legislation Thursday. The Senate passed an almost identical bill on a bipartisan vote last year, but the House passed their own version which did not expand the program to victims of violence who are immigrants, Native Americans or LGBT. The Senate version also increased the cost of the bill by extending visas to immigrants that are victims of domestic violence and added college campus violence prevention programs.

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“The bill closely mirrors the bill that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last year, and is the result of close consultation with law enforcement officials and the dedicated experts in the field who are so committed to saving the lives of many women around this country,” said Leahy, who is the lead author and sponsor of the legislation. “For nearly 20 years, the programs supported by VAWA have been a lifeline to so many. They deserve swift action in Congress.”

VAWA provides grants to victims of domestic violence in order to encourage victims to leave their abusive situations. Some feel they can’t get away from their abusers because they might not have another form of family income, so the grants can provide housing assistance and cellphones for victims.