The Violence Against Women Act was approved by the House on February 28, 2013 reauthorizing the landmark law established in 1994, which assists victims of domestic and sexual violence. Last month, it passed the Senate with 78 votes, which included all Democrats and a little over half of Republicans.
The House had proposed an alternative on February 22, 2013, which was received by sharp criticism from women rights organizations and other for not including protections in the bill for gay, bisexuals or transgender victims of domestic abuse. It also failed to consider provisions for American Indian women on reservations.
The Violence Against Women Act passed on a vote of 286 to 138, with 199 Democrats and 87 Republicans, thereby gaining over the House plan for an alternative, which failed on a vote of 257 to 166, with 197 Democrats and 60 Republicans in opposition.
The bill offers to assist local communities with law enforcement and helping victims of domestic and sexual violence, along with provisions for gays, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse. It also allows American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-Indians to carry their case to tribal courts.
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