The Act was first passed in 1994 but was last reauthorized in 2006.
This latest re-authorization provides equal domestic violence access and protections for gays, lesbians, Native Americans, and immigrants.
It also includes a provision that would speed up the analysis of D NA evidence from a rape kit to avoid the rape kit backlog.
In addition, the bill will continue to provide funding for domestic violence support groups like “Safe Passage” in Northampton.
Marianne Winters with Safe Passage in Northampton says, “We’re thrilled not only that it passed the Senate but that it passed the Senate 78 votes to 22. So it really shows that at least the Senate is hunkering down with support and that it’s not an issue that should be thought of as partisan or as democrats and republicans…it’s an issue that affects every single one of us — men and women.”
The bill faces an uncertain future in the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Some of them argue it’s too drastic an expansion specifically the provision regarding tribal courts.