Violence Against Women Act extended

New provisions focus on healthcare and early intervention.

By Lori Leibovich

Published December 20, 2005 5:08PM (EST)

And now, for some good news: On Saturday Congress approved an extension of the Violence Against Women Act that includes new provisions focusing on early intervention, healthcare and outreach to American Indian women, among other areas.

"This legislation will go far in providing protection for these women and their families," Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., told the Associated Press.

The House passed the bill on a voice vote, one day after the Senate approved it. The Violence Against Women Act, which aims to quell domestic violence through funding for law enforcement and women's shelters, expired in September. The latest renewal extends the legislation for five years, at a cost of about $3.9 billion.

"This is a giant step forward, and offers real hope that our nation will significantly improve its response to domestic, sexual and dating violence and stalking," Esta Soler, president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, told the Associated Press.

Let's hope so.

Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

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