Says Sharon Stapel of the New York City Anti-Violence Project:
For the first time ever, VAWA now explicitly recognizes LGBTQ survivors as “under-served populations,” prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in service provision and recognizes that all states can use VAWA funding to support LGBTQ-specific programs and services.
The bill now will head to the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Studies indicate that while LGBT people are victims of intimate-partner violence at the same rate as the general population, they’re less likely to seek out or receive support services. Since its passage in 1995, VAWA has provided billions of dollars to agencies helping victims of stalking, domestic violence and sexual assault.