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Violence Against Women Act Reauthorized - March

On February 28, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the lapsed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  This law aims to prevent domestic violence and help the victims of abuse.  The language of the $3.3 billion reauthorization extended protections to gay, lesbian, and transgender people.  Native Americans and immigrants are also a new protected class under the VAWA law.  These new protections allow for individuals in the aforementioned classes to receive services such as grants and legal aid.

Funding for shelters and programs that prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault will continue. There are some new provisions in the VAWA that deal with the ever-changing world - stalking, spyware, and video surveillance.