Advocates are lauding the Senate for Tuesday’s passage of the Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations bill, which includes a critical $10 million increase in funding for programs created by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The increased funding for VAWA programs will help police, courts, rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, and other victim services providers meet the multifaceted and increased needs of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
In addition to the funding increase, the Senate tabled the Vitter Amendment which would have instructed the Department of Justice to withhold federal Community Oriented Policing Services funding to cities that do not ask the immigration status of individuals reporting crimes. NNEDV is hailing this a victory for domestic violence victims.
A measure introduced by Sen. Shelby to increase funding for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund by $20 million was withdrawn before a vote, but advocates say the awareness raised by Sen. Shelby’s leadership and the grassroots support for the amendment will lead to an increase for VOCA when the Senate CJS Appropriations bill is conferenced with the House version of that bill. The House CJS bill was passed in late July with overwhelming support for domestic violence funding increases in both VAWA and VOCA.
For detailed information about appropriations for the Violence Against Women Act, including appropriations bill comparisons and state-by-state funding breakdowns, click here.