National Black Justice Coalition Celebrates the House Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
Black LGBTQ+ Group Says Inclusion of Transgender Individuals in the Legislation is a Critical First Step in Stopping the Epidemic of Violence Against the Trans Community
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WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to renew the lapsed Violence Against Women Act, landmark legislation championed by President Joe Biden.
The bipartisan bill, which was introduced in the House earlier this month by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick builds on previous versions of the legislation by authorizing funding for grants and other forms of support to prevent and combat sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and deliver assistance to victims.
The bill, which is inclusive of people of transgender identities, would also improve and expand aid and services for victims and survivors, including provisions to make safe housing more accessible and ensuring that state unemployment benefits cannot be denied to individuals who leave jobs due to sexual harassment or assault, domestic or dating violence, or stalking.
In reaction to the House passage of the Violence Against Women Act, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, issued the following statement:
“The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and its protections for transgender and same-gender loving people is a critical first step in mitigating the epidemic of violence facing our communities.
“Black women, specifically Black LGBTQ+ and same gender loving women, face disproportionate amounts of sexual harassment and domestic violence but too often law enforcement lacks the cultural competency with these communities to adequately address these harms and protect us. The Violence Against Women Act would provide critical funding to address these gaps and ensure that our sisters are protected and treated with dignity-they deserve this at the very least.
“We applaud the passage of this critical bill in the House of Representatives and urge the Senate to take up passage of it promptly.”