Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed the reauthorisation bill for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by 78 votes to 22. The bill was championed by lead co-sponsors Senators Patrick Leahy and Michael Crapo. Since it was originally passed in 1994, more victims report domestic violence to the police and the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 64%. According to the Huffington Post:
The bill authorizes $659 million over five years for VAWA programs. It also expands VAWA to include new protections for LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence, to give more attention to sexual assault prevention and to help reduce a backlog in processing rape kits. Created in 1994, VAWA has helped to strengthen programs and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
There were also some amendments, such as a provision which targets human trafficking and a provision (100 votes to 0) to ensure child victims of sex trafficking are eligible for grant assistance.