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Happy March 1st and the beginning of Women’s History Month!  March is dedicated to celebrating the contributions of women to history and society worldwide.

It is fitting that yesterday the Violence Against Women Act passed the House after having expired 18 months ago.  The bill first passed in 1994 to help victims of rape and domestic violence find safety, care, and justice. Since VAWA expired, there has been much resistance from House Republicans to the version of the bill that passed the Senate, which expands protections to LGBT victims, immigrants, and Native Americans.  President Barack Obama praised the House for passing the broader, more inclusive Senate bill, stating,

Today’s vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the LGBT community. Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk.

The reauthorization of VAWA stresses the importance of protecting individuals from violence, particularly women.  In the U.S., violence against women and girls is all too common, as highlighted in the infographic below.  Let’s hope that government officials continue to support policies that prevent and protect women.

Move to End violence

Stay tuned for more women’s health highlights!