WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Obama administration urged the U.S. Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which would expand those protected by the law.
"The administration is pleased that [the bill] continues that bipartisan progress and targets resources to address today's most pressing issues," the administration's statement of policy issued Monday said.
The bill would providing funding through state grants to improve the criminal justice's response to sexual assault and to better connect victims with services, the statement said. Additionally, the bill would to reduce domestic violence homicides and address the high rates of violence experienced by teens and young adults.
"The administration strongly supports measures in [the bill] that will bring justice to Native American victims," the statement said of the Senate measure that would be expanded to include domestic violence victims who are Native American, gay or lesbian. "Rates of domestic violence against Native American women are now among the highest in the United States."
The administration said it was pleased the Senate legislation "recognizes the need to provide protection and services to all victims of abuse" and includes proposals to strengthen existing policies that enjoyed bipartisan support.