U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) voted for the Violence Against Women (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2013, which passed today by a bipartisan vote of 286 to 138. One of Schneider's first actions in the 113th Congress was to cosponsor the VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013.
The legislation reauthorizes federal programs that seek to reduce the instances of domestic violence and provide assistance for victims of abuse and assault. It also increases the number of temporary visas for immigrant victims of domestic abuse and expands VAWA protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of abuse.
"Everyone deserves to be protected from domestic violence, and I'm pleased that the House and Senate were finally able to work together to expand access to these important programs," Schneider said. "I've heard from local shelters and domestic violence prevention organizations that the Violence Against Women Act is essential to helping them continue offering and expanding important services and education to our victims of domestic abuse."
Last week, Schneider met with representatives from A Safe Place, SHALVA, JCares and Response Center to discuss the reauthorization of VAWA. Universal concern was expressed that the expiration of VAWA in 2011 was limiting their abilities to offer counseling, transitional housing, education and support.
The Senate passed the VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013 in a bipartisan 78-to-22 vote earlier this month. Today's House passage clears the bill for President Obama's signature.