An answer on whether money will continue to be available to protect and serve local and state female victims of domestic violence is still awaited, but is a step closer.
Senators okayed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act this week, but there is no decision in the House.
Director of Empower House, formerly the Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence in Fredericksburg, Cathy Anderson, is hopeful. She says if the plan is approved, Congress would allow more than $650 million over five years for a number of programs that protect women. The sticking point with lawmakers this year is likely expanded language to include native women, lesbians, and those who are transexual or transgendered. The aspect of how immigration issues are addressed will still be decided.
Anderson says they already help any woman that is a victim of abuse and think the added protections have been long needed. Last year was the first time the Act was not reauthorized since 1994. Like this year, the Senate quickly passed the measure, but the House says it has much work and deciding to do.