Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) praised today’s passage of the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) following the failure of the partisan and discriminatory proposal put forth by House Republicans.  With House Democrats pushing for a stronger, more comprehensive reauthorization, the Senate’s version passed the House by a vote of 286-138, including every House Democrat and 87 House Republicans.

“There should be nothing partisan about reducing domestic violence, and I am proud that Congress finally passed a bill to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence regardless of their background, where they live, or whom they love,” said Himes. “While I am embarrassed that it took over 500 days for Congress to reauthorize the important programs created by VAWA, today is a good day for all women.”

The bipartisan bill passed today extended the law’s crucial protections to LGBT, Native American and immigrant victims. It also provides for more rape kits as well as a national registry of forensic evidence from sexual assault cases, strengthens criminal anti-trafficking statutes, provides for temporary housing for victims, and addresses domestic violence on American college campuses. Himes was a cosponsor of the House version of this bill.