By Katherine Chon, Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons
Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon and ACF staff joined survivors and advocates on March 7 to witness the signing of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which included the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
In his remarks, President Barack Obama recognized the importance of the law in expanding protections, changing lives, and shifting community responses:
“It didn’t just change the rules, it changed our culture. It empowered people to start speaking out.”
The bi-partisan bill, which passed the Senate (78-22) and the House (286-138), reauthorized key federal anti-trafficking programs for the next four years and added new protection for victims of violence and human trafficking. Key features of the reauthorization, particularly in reference to ACF’s anti-trafficking initiatives aim to: