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June 25, 2014

Pride Flag JUN2014As this year’s Pride month* comes to a close, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is proud of our work to ensure that the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) included protections for LGBT individuals. The law acknowledges that domestic violence occurs in same-sex relationships and that LGBT individuals can be victims of sexual assault.

Now, it is illegal for VAWA-funded entities to deny services to anyone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It also allows communities to develop domestic violence and sexual assault programs for the LGBT community. NNEDV works with the Northwest Network and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs to provide training and promote best practices, which helps programs increase accessibility to the LGBT community.

“Everyone has the right be to safe and healthy in their relationships,” said Kim Gandy, NNEDV President & CEO. “We are proud that VAWA 2013 protects all survivors, and was the very first piece of federal legislation to explicitly prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals. This was a big push, and it was a big win.”

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the original 1994 VAWA, groundbreaking legislation that criminalizes domestic violence and sexual assault and provides critical funding for a coordinated community response.

Happy Pride!

*June is recognized as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, a time to celebrate the progress made by LGBT activists against discrimination and towards equality.

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