City supports reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

Today the Minneapolis City Council’s Committee of the Whole voted unanimously to support Congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and to support specific legislation that protects American Indian women living on reservations, college students, and members of the LGBT community. Last week the Senate passed the reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act, and the House may be taking a vote as early as next week.  2012 was the first time the Violence Against Women Act was not reauthorized since its introduction.

Since the Act was first approved in Congress, the City of Minneapolis has implemented several programs using funds from the Act, including the City Attorney’s on-call domestic response team, the domestic repeat offender list and team that identifies top offenders to ensure their criminal history is considered during sentencing, and enhanced enforcement of Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders.  

The Violence Against Women Act was enacted by Congress in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. Although the Act was not reauthorized in 2012, some Violence Against Women Act programs have still received funding. The Violence Against Women Act has helped improve the criminal justice response to violence against women and ensures that victims and their families have access to the services that they need to achieve safety and rebuild their lives. This act has also spurred legislators in Minnesota – and across the country – to adopt legislation to address domestic violence and stalking.

While today’s vote was unanimous, the action must still be formally approved at the City Council’s official meeting on Friday, March 7.

Published Feb 21, 2013