The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization of 2013 was scheduled to expire on September 30, 2018.

Recently, Congress voted to extend VAWA an additional 10 weeks rather than vote on H.R. 6545 to reauthorize VAWA. This extension will only fund VAWA until December 7, 2018. This impacts victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These funds provide direct services to victims as well as educational opportunities for prevention. The following is a list of what H. R. 6545 will provide.
•TItle I- Enhancing Judicial and Law Enforcement Tools to Combat Violence Against Women.
•Title II- Improving Services for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Sexual Assulat.    
•Title III - Services, Protection, and Justice for Young Victims of  Violence
•TItle IV - Violence Reduction Practices
•Title V - Healthcare  Systems Response
•Title VI - Safe Homes for Victims
•Title VII - Economic Security for Victims
•Title VIII - Reducing Homicides and Improving Public Safety
•TItle IX - Safety for Indian Women
•Title X - Office on Violence Against Women
•Title XI - Incarcerated Women
•Title XII - Other Matters    
Most of the titles listed in the bill are self-explanatory. The most recent improvements are Title IX which allows more tribal access over crimes of domestic violence, sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, child violence, and violence against law enforcement officers. Title XI provides care for pregnant women and other individuals incarcerated as well as public health and safety of women. Finally, Title XII covers national stalker and domestic violence reduction, federal victim assistance reauthorization, and child abuse training programs for judicial personnel and practitioners. Title XII also deals with the sex offender management, court-appointed special advocate program, and the rape kit backlog.
Each section of H.R. 6545 is designed to help increase services and prevention. Domestic violence affects us all. Being educated on ways to prevent violence from occurring helps keep more people safe and limits the costs directly affected by violence. Please contact local representatives to find out where they stand on H.R. 6545 reauthorization of VAWA.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Survivors and their families are counting on everyone in Congress to take a stand on their behalf and seriously consider the critical improvements in H.R.6545, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee’s Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018. This bill does not include extreme changes that would excite controversy - it reflects the fixes and modest improvements that the field has said are needed.”
The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994. It has been reauthorized in 2000, 2005, and 2013. Although it clearly states “Violence Against Women” this does not exclude male victims from being able to access these services. The Violence Against Women Act seeks to improve services for all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, Crisis Services of North Alabama Jackson County office can help. We provide free, confidential support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. We can be reached locally at 256-574-5826 or at our 24 hour HELPline at 256-716-1000.

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