The U.S. Senate has passed legislation to support Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence, Maui Now reports.
The Violence Against Women Act provides financial and institutional support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, sex-trafficking, dating violence and stalking. According to Hawaii News Now, the act inadvertently excluded Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Senator Maizie Hirono (D) pushed for an amendment to the legislation that would protect Native Hawaiians.
“Today [Nov. 18], I’m proud that the Senate unanimously passed my legislation to amend VAWA [Violence Against Women Act] to ensure that Native Hawaiian organizations can actually serve the Native Hawaiian community,” Sen. Hirono said in a statement, according to Maui Now. “This bill will allow Native Hawaiian survivors to get the support they deserve, and will enable Native Hawaiian organizations to do even more in the fight to end sexual violence.”
According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, more than two-thirds of sex trafficking victims in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian women and girls, Hawaii News Now reports.
Under the new legislation, Native Hawaiian organizations can now provide financial resources to Native Hawaiian women.
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