JEFFERSON CITY, MO  (KMOX) – A U.S. Senate vote is expected late Thursday or Friday to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

The rewritten law would add new legal protections for immigrants, Native American women, gays, and lesbians. The law expired in 2011 and congressional members have been unable to agree on a plan to both reauthorize the current bill and expand its reach.

Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sent a letter to members of Congress, “urging them to reauthorize the VAWA.”

“In 2011, over 40,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported in Missouri,” Koster wrote in a press release. “Thirty women were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. Missouri women reported more than 1,400 forcible rapes or attempted forcible rapes. And although over 10,000 women in need were able to find a place at a shelter, nearly 20,000 more were turned away.”

The Violence Against Women Act provides funding for community-based services in Missouri, Koster said, along with money for training prosecutors and police “to deal more effectively with cases of domestic violence.”


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