WIUM Tristates Public Radio

VAWA Future Remains in Question

Feb 26, 2013

Victims’ advocates remain concerned about what will happen to a historic piece of legislation.

Much of the talk in Washington D.C. has surrounded sequestration of late, but lawmakers have yet to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

VAWA was signed into law in 1994 and last re-authorized nearly a decade ago.

The U.S. House and U.S. Senate are considering separate versions of the reauthorization.  The U.S. Senate passed its version earlier this year.

Sue Prochazka is the director of the Tri-State Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Abuse.

She says organizations like hers are concerned about what the House could end up passing.

Prochazka says much of the talk surrounds eliminating proposed services for Native Americans, LGBT individuals and immigrants.

An example is if you are an immigrant who marries someone here in the United States and are a victim of domestic violence, because of your affiliation with an American citizen, you should still have access to services.

Prochazka says she is also concerned about funding in the final version of the VAWA.

She believes a compromise will be reached, but she does not know what to expect.