Success! Congress Passes The Violence Against Women Act

The U.S. House on Thursday passed the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) re-authorization bill, leaving intact provisions that protect LBT women and women of Native American descent.

The House voted 286 to 138 to back the bill, with 199 Democrats joining 87 Republicans to pass the reauthorization of this landmark 1994 law.

The vote ends a year-long standoff on a bill that is seen as vital to protect women from domestic violence. The House infamously failed to reauthorize the bill during the previous congress and looked set to stall on the Senate version of the bill that passed in a 78-22 vote earlier this month.

However, the House on Thursday rejected its own less encompassing version of VAWA by a vote of 166-257. The watered down bill lacked enumerated classes and would have failed to explicitly cover LBT women as well as failing to cater to Native American women on reservations.

House lawmakers had argued that even without this explicit coverage, “all women” were covered, but drew sharp criticism from Democrats and women’s rights groups at large.

The Violence Against Women Act originally authorized a National Domestic Violence Hotline and federal funding to assist women’s shelters.

Almost two decades on, the version passed on Thursday goes further to authorize funding for victim assistance programs. It will also aid in the prosecution of people accused of domestic violence and sexual assault. The legislation also, for the first time, has provisions to deal with stalking, including the use of spyware and video surveillance equipment.

President Obama has welcomed the bill arriving on his desk, saying, “Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse. Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear [...] .”

Similarly, LGBT rights groups have praised Congress for having finally passed the bill.

Said Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: ”This is a huge victory for the millions of people across the country affected by domestic and sexual violence, including LGBT people. To be the target of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking — whether perpetrated by a stranger or an intimate partner — is terrifying and traumatic. [...] We thank Congress and look forward to President Obama’s signature on this critically important bill. This law will literally help save lives.”

This victory for women’s rights could mean a headache for the House leadership, however. As The New York Times notes, the measure passed with only 87 House Republicans voting in favor, making this the third time in two months that Speaker John Boehner has brought a bill to the floor without having the support of a majority of his own party.


Care2 Success: Thank you to the thousands of people who signed these petitions to urge the House of Representatives to reauthorize this vital piece of legislation!


Related Reading:

GOP Oppose Violence Against Women Act Because It Helps Too

Will Republicans Kill The Violence Against Women Act?

Schlafly: Violence Against Women Act ”Breaks Up Families”

Image credit: Thinkstock.


Angela Marshall
Angela Marshall3 years ago

OK , friends, beg to differ with Nickolas...and am sure that there are more of my persuasion and mind bent out there than me, come on my brave ladies...Long story short, got totally sick of the lame stream media, psychologists, social services, welfare roll reality freaks telling me I couldn't do it...two dead beat whiny dads, and yes my stupidity takes ultimate responsibility...My NASA scientist daddy and my mom, an educator and my being. Raised with a set of borrowed balls, led me in the long run to go back to my roots...get a grip on your blue jeans and hike em up over your head till you can't breathe or think clearly... My two children were classically raised with great literature, music, instruments(musical) all over the house, books, books and more books, soccer, computer classes, nature and preservation of wildlife and of our God given charges at our house...including not only cats and dogs but rabbits, horses, cattle, goats, chickens, reptiles, rodents, etc...Went back to school in my 40's , my children proofread, corrected my homework, and kept me going long after I would have given up, my mom(an educator) died the year before I graduated from college, I dedicated my graduation to my children and to my mom, I was the first to graduate from college in this branch of my family...Along the way I had to go through some enormous hurdles, including an abusive relationship, naysayers, and financial penury...throughout it all, one thing I can tell you...Get a life, grab life

Angela Marshall
Angela Marshall3 years ago

Oh my ass what about the rest of us, I am of native American descent, but the rest of us are mutts, I include myself in the mutt category, suffered some horrific desperate times, never again my armed and bad to the more hair tearing, full body blows, intimidation, big weepy a fully armed, smoking' BITCH, WITH AN ATTITUDE, STROLL YOUR ASS UP in my yard,

Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K3 years ago

If mothers did their job properly and never left the education and role modelling up to strangers we would not need such laws in the first place. But sadly the mothers want their cake and eat it too. Like having a career and children as well thinking they can do two things at once when we know one job will suffer, in this case proves by requiring this bill its the children who suffer by not becoming someone the parents can be proud of.

Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K3 years ago

Great now all we need is a bill protecting men from verbal abuse etc from woman and the government officials.
OH I note that I cant find where the women in their bill are protected from the government, military and police who's abuse has gone on in secret and unpunished since the formation of the Republic.

Konstantin Trubin


Martyna Wrobel
Martyna Wr?bel3 years ago

Amazing! :)

Maggie Beglarian
Maggie Beglarian3 years ago

great news

Tim C.
Tim C3 years ago


Joanne S.
Jo S3 years ago


daphne D.
daphne D3 years ago

good news!