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House Democrats pass first program to support LGBTQ domestic violence victims in VAWA bill
Yesterday, the House voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) , a bill that increases the criminal justice response to intimate partner violence and violence against women and provides funding resources for victims.
The bill included an amendment that would create the first grant program specifically intended to support LGBTQ victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The reauthorization passed 244 to 172. All of the 172 Congressmembers who voted against it were Republicans, although 29 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill.
“The Violence Against Women Act is about saving lives and ensuring justice for survivors who have suffered in silence for too long,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said in a statement to NBC News . Pressley introduced the amendment with Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL).
“But until now, Congress’s efforts have overlooked the hurt and harm felt by LGBTQ+ survivors, especially trans women of color. I’m proud that this year’s Violence Against Women Act included my provision to create grants and services dedicated to serving members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The bill adds “culturally specific and population specific organizations, and specifically organizations whose leadership include Black or Indigenous people, People of Color, or LGBTQ+ individuals” in a section about grants […]