Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by a vote of 286-138, extending the law's crucial protections to LGBT, Native American and immigrant victims, providing for more rape kits as well as a national registry of forensic evidence from sexual assault cases, strengthening criminal anti-trafficking statutes, providing for temporary housing for victims, and addressing domestic violence on American college campuses. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement:
"Today we stood up for women by passing the comprehensive and bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. When this bill becomes law, we will be able to provide the necessary resources and support to all victims of domestic violence, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
"Hundreds of groups and thousands of concerned citizens across the country worked tirelessly to make sure the voices of women could be heard over partisan debate. With today's vote, we can reduce domestic violence, help rape victims, give Native American tribes the tools to hold abusers accountable, LGBT survivors the protection they need to access services, and immigrant survivors the independence necessary to escape violence.
"While this legislation passed with bipartisan support, it is disappointing to me that the majority of House Republican Members of Congress voted against the Violence Against Women Act. I was proud to vote to protect ALL victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, for my constituents, and for my children."