Women's Rights

President Signs Violence Against Women Act

Federal funding for certain programs


On Thursday afternoon, President Obama signed into law the re-authorized Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The act, originally passed in 1994, provides federal funding for programs and research aimed at preventing and prosecuting domestic and sexual violence.

The new version of the law includes several new measures, including granting Native American tribes jurisdiction to prosecute non-native perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence against native women. Previously, tribes had no jurisdiction over non-tribal members, even if they are married to native women or reside on native lands.

But, said Obama Thursday, "as soon as I sign this bill, that ends."