msnbc | February 10, 2013
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>>> tomorrow the senate is expected to vote for the reauthorization of the violence against women act originally passed in 1994 . this bill was a bipartisan effort to reduce violent crimes against women, but it was allowed to expire in 2011 . last year the law became a sticking point for many republican lawmakers who took issue with the bill's expansion, avid just last week eight republican senators voted against the law, even going to the floor for a vote. joining me is president and the ceo of the national network to end domestic violence . kim, good to see you.
>> thank you. nice to be back on the show.
>> the eight senators who voted to block the violence against women act from even going to the floor. they were all republican men. there they are right there. considering the gop's deficit with women, how will it further affect their credibility with that group?
>> i think the fact that so many republicans did vote to move the violence against women act to the floor tells you that it is broadly supported by women of both parties and that for the most part the senators are listening to that. they are hearing the women in their districts. it's telling i think that every single female senator, both democrats and republicans, all 20 of them, are supporting the violence against women act in the senate.
>> in a nutshell for folks who have not been following this story really quickly, what is this bill about? what does it do?
>> the violence against women act has been the cornerstone for the last 20 years of our nation's response to domestic violence , sexual assault and stalking. about half of the money in it goes to law enforcement to provide services, training for law enforcement , for police, for prosecutors, for courts and about half of it goes towards providing services for victims, everything from shelter and transitional housing to hotlines and counseling programs and batterer intervention programs.
>> my understanding is that some concessions had to be made on expansion of the bill to get it passed what. aspects of that are particularly concern?
>> well, one provision that would have allowed some particular -- there's a particular kind of visa that is available to immigrants who are assisting law enforcement in the prosecution of a crime. that's called a u -views a. that's something that law enforcement very strongly recommended that there be an increased number of these available for battered immigrant women nord for them to feel secure in some forward. otherwise they might fear that if they come forward and in fact do fear that if they come forward and report abuse that they might be deported, that they might lose their kids which might be kept behind or that their children might be left with their abuser while they are in detention. i mean, you can imagine all of those reasons so law enforcement very strongly recommended an increase in the number of u -visas. there was a compromise where there was no increase in the number of u -visas but there was a provision to recapture unused ones from prior years, and even that had to be taken out.