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Task Force applauds Senate passage of LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill

February 12, 2013

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the U.S. Senate’s passage today of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill, which includes explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survivors of domestic violence and enhanced protections for Native American and immigrant survivors. It also includes a new provision that would support prosecution of sexual assault cases by reducing evidentiary (rape kits) backlogs.

The 1994 federal law provides funds to enhance investigation and prosecution of violent crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault, and it bolsters victim services programs. The Task Force Action Fund along with a broad coalition of organizations has been lobbying for inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the law.

Statement by Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

To be the target of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking is terrifying and traumatic. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not immune from this violence and should not also fear being turned away from life-saving services because of who they are. Reauthorization of this inclusive Violence Against Women Act will go a long way toward ensuring everyone has access to the critical resources they need. We thank the Senate for passing this bill and urge the House to swiftly follow suit.

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