The Violence Against Women Act has been allowed to expire. The re-authorization is not usually contested, but with the current congress (or the recently last congress), everything is contended. The latest version of VAWA included provisions to protect people regardless of gender and sexuality, as well as immigrants and native women. Republicans have objected to these measures and won’t allow the act through with them.

These are needed changes, our system currently leaves many women vulnerable to abuse and shields abusers who target them. Right now, women whose immigration and citizenship status makes it difficult to report abuse are unprotected. They may have to risk the status, risk deportation, etc. if they leave an abuser.

Also addressed was the massive problem this country has with violence against native women on tribal lands. Tribal women face a much higher risk of violence than the general population, and there are barriers to prosecuting offenders. This version of the Violence Against Women Act would have made it easier to hold men who are responsible for that violence accountable, something that is currently almost inpossible in many circumstances.