Today, the House passed the expanded Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by a margin of 286-138. Earlier this month, the Senate passed S. 47, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, by a margin of 78-22 with strong bipartisan support from every Democratic Senator, every woman Senator, and a majority of Senate Republicans. The expanded VAWA passed today extends protections to LGBT, Native Americans, and immigrants as well as strengthens criminal human trafficking laws, addresses the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, and increases the ability for law enforcement to respond to sexual assault cases. Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. stated the following:
"Today, I am overjoyed that the House voted its conscience to strengthen VAWA, a bill that ensures all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have the critical protections and services they need to survive regardless of where they come from or who they love. This bill was long overdue as women across the country have been waiting more than 500 days for the House to reauthorize VAWA's protections. But I am proud to say that today's vote expands and strengthens the original VAWA and is on its way to the President's desk for signing. This truly is a great victory for all women across this country, and I am proud to live in a nation that provides the protections that our mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives deserve."