Congress Renews Violence Against Women Act - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Congress Renews Violence Against Women Act

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Congress agreed on a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which expired in September

The act funds federal programs and provides aid to state and local agencies to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The delay in the renewal was due, in part, to disagreement among Republicans and Democrats about including the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. But Thursday, the house passed the senate version, which does include providing services to LGBT individuals.

Ann Kappauf, the executive director of New Horizons Shelter in La Crosse, says her agency provides assistance to anyone and everyone already, but it's important that the federal government include LGBT individuals in the bill.

"It's almost more difficult for a victim who identifies themselves as LGBT to come forward and say that they've been victimized because of the classification or the community in which they live," Kappauf said. "It is hard for them to seek out services because they feel like if they do, their partner might out them to family or friends who may not know."

The bill is now awaiting President Obama's signature. The president has already said he will sign the legislation.

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