Opinion: Senate version of VAWA helps American Indian women

"While efforts to improve public safety may seem like a no-brainer, VAWA’s future is anything but assured. Currently, two versions of a VAWA reauthorization bill are under consideration.

Senate Bill 1925 passed in April. This version maintains the fundamental pieces of the current law while enhancing protections for victims of domestic violence by redefining “underserved populations” to include those who may be discriminated against based on religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. SB 1925 also expands funding and services to raise awareness of and response to domestic violence against American Indian women including by addressing jurisdictional issues for crimes and civil orders for protection.

The Senate version also allows effective prosecution of perpetrators of domestic violence against at-risk immigrants by providing protection against retaliation and deportation.

House Bill 4970, passed in May, eliminates the important provisions regarding “underserved populations” and American Indian woman and negatively changes the method of prosecutions of crimes against at-risk immigrants."

Get the Story:
Lori Conroy: Senate bill better prevents violence against women (The Grand Forks Herald 7/22)

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