The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 28, 2013

Congress set to OK bill renewing anti-violence law


The House bill quickly ran up against a wall of resistance, with the White House on Tuesday providing a list of supposed flaws. Those included inhibiting prosecutions by tribal authorities, removing Senate provisions that address the high rates of violence on college campuses, omitting a Senate provision reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and not explicitly protecting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) victims from discrimination when they seek services funded by the law.

The House bill also was opposed by major anti-violence and Native American groups, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said all Democrats were being urged to oppose it. "The groups that are excluded are the groups that are in most need of protection against violence," she said.

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who co-wrote the original 1994 law with former Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., said the law, which provides grants for legal assistance, transitional housing, law enforcement training and hotlines, has helped bring instances of domestic violence down by two-thirds over the past two decades. "Perhaps the greatest victory," she said, "is that the law finally brought millions of victims out of the shadows and gave them a place to stand."

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