WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SAVE, a leading victim-rights organization, is applauding the recent passage of the Violence Against Women Act which includes a new mandate for inclusive services. Following spirited debates that spanned a full year, the VAWA reauthorization bill was approved yesterday in the House of Representatives by a vote of 286-138.
Within hours of its passage, Attorney General Eric Holder released this statement: "I applaud Congress for passing a bipartisan reauthorization that protects everyone – women and men, gay and straight, children and adults of all races, ethnicities, countries of origin, and tribal affiliations." (1)
Sen. Patrick Leahy, lead author of the Senate VAWA bill, has repeatedly emphasized the necessity for the law to help all victims: "A victim is a victim is a victim. And violence is violence is violence." (2)
A press release from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence echoes the same theme: "This bipartisan legislation improves VAWA programs and strengthens protections for all victims of violence" (emphasis in the original).
And the Independent Women's Forum called on the Violence Against Women Act to be refocused "to include all victims rather than singling out specific groups for special protection based on gender, sexual orientation, or other group status." (3)
"Through all the debates of the past year, members of Congress agreed on one thing – a need to bring an end to the discriminatory practices of VAWA programs," explains SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. "Discrimination on any basis is wrong, and we thank the leaders in Congress who had the courage to stop this shameful practice."
Reports have documented widespread bias against heterosexual male (4) and lesbian/gay victims of abuse.
Contact: Teri Stoddard
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Source: Stop Abusive and Violent Environments