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Senate to Consider Violence Against Women Act

By: Rachel L. MSW, LMSW

The United States Senate will consider a bill to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) S.47 on Monday, February 4th.  Last spring Congress failed to reauthorize the act for the first time since its initial passing in 1994.  The House GOP blocked the bill’s passage because they objected to additional provisions that would extend protections and services to immigrant women, Native American women on reservations, and the LGBT community.

The difference between the 2013 version of the bill and the failed 2012 bill is that this time it does not include increasing the number of U Visas for immigrant survivors of domestic violence. This change was made in an attempt to prevent a blue slip problem.

S.47 was introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on January 22nd and so far has 59 cosponsors. On that same day Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced the House version of the bill, H.R.11, which currently has 158 cosponsors.

The Office of Violence Against Women (OVA), which is part of the Department of Justice, is responsible for implementing VAWA.  You can find out more, including past reports on the effectiveness of programs funded though VAWA, at the OVA website.

Further Reading:

VAWA Re-authorization: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill that Corners House Republicans

Congress Allows the Violence Against Women Act to Expire

Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act


United States Senate – Find contact information for your Senator, look up information on Senate committees, watch hearings and more.

US House of Representatives – Find contact information for your Representative, look up House committee schedules, watch proceedings and more.


Photo Credit: By U.S. Senate photo; sculptor unknown (Eagle and Shield (direct image URL [1]).) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Written by Rachel L. West

Rachel L. West is the Founder of the Political Social Worker, a blog dedicated to macro social work and politics. She holds a BA in History from SUNY Stony Brook and an MSW from Adelphi University.

She is a community outreach and engagement specialist. Rachel resides in New York State, and she is available as a consultant and coach. You can find out more about Rachel at The Political Social Worker at (

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