Lawmakers prepare to vote on reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act

Actress Angelina Jolie is now joining growing calls for federal domestic violence funding and family court reforms.
“Standing here at the center of our nation’s power, I can only think of everyone who is made to feel powerless," said Jolie.
Jolie gave many issues facing victims and survivors national attention this week when she spoke before the Senate in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.
Her speech comes as lawmakers prepare to vote on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which includes federal funds to help victims of domestic and sexual violence by funding programs and legal services.
“The reason that many people struggle to leave abusive situations is that they’ve been made to feel worthless. When there is silence from a Congress too busy to renew the Violence Against Women Act for a decade, it reinforces that sense of worthlessness," she says.
Advocates with the anti-domestic violence group Fearless say half their funding comes from this type of federal aid and that organizations like theirs and the victims they serve would be in jeopardy if the act is not renewed.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney supports reauthorizing VAWA.
He says it’s critical to lowering soaring domestic violence rates and provides victims with access to essential programs and legal services.
Maloney says renewing the Violence Against Women Act is expected to be voted on within the next few weeks.