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US House of Representatives passes law to reauthorise Violence Against Women Act

US House of Representatives passes law to reauthorise Violence Against Women Act
  • The US House of Representatives on March 17, 2021 passed a legislation to reauthorise the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was originally introduced by President Joe Biden but lapsed in 2019
  • The lawmakers in the US House voted largely along party lines 244-172 to approve the legislation.
  • Twenty-nine Republicans joined the Democrats in voting in favour of the bill.
  • The bill seeking reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act was reintroduced by Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Brian Fitzpatrick and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.
  • The legislation seeks to provide grants to state and local governments for programs addressing violence against women including domestic abuse, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
  • The law will close the so-called boyfriend loophole to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence or abuse from buying or owning guns.
  • Representative Sheila Jackson Lee while introducing the legislation said, “Women cannot go back. Women cannot continue in an intimidated fashion to tragically be subject to men who violently attack them.”
  • The legislation was originally enacted in 1994 and it was renewed repeatedly in the decades that followed since till its last expiration in February 2019.
  • In 2019, the Act did not pass through the Senate, which was controlled by Republicans at that time who objected to the gun control provision.

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