After months of Republican stalling, the Senate unanimously voted yesterday to pass the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, an anti-crime bill that includes the Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Violence Against Women Act(VAWA). The law codifies VAWA for five years and authorizes $3 billion in funds for sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, including sexual assault prevention training for judges, battered womenís services, state-based services for victims of domestic violence, and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence. The law authorizes $94.5 million for victims of sex trafficking, creates special visas for victims of trafficking and slavery, and doubles the current maximum penalty for sex trafficking. In addition, the bill specifies that the United States withhold certain aid from governments who fail to enforce the provisions.
The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with other national women's organizations, has campaigned for the reauthorization of this crucial legislation. FMF President Eleanor Smeal spoke at several recent press conferences, alongside feminist leaders and women members of Congress, demanding that Republican stop their political game-playing with this essential bill. Just after the bill was passed, the President and Vice President each issued statements in support of VAWA and the Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Act, demonstrating a commitment to protecting women from sexual assault and domestic violence.
7/29/2015 Jen Welter Just Made NFL History - Jen Welter was hired as a coach for the Arizona Cardinals this week, becoming the first woman ever to be a National Football League coach. . . .
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund¬†Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).¬†Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as¬†out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two¬†heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .