The U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 222 to 205, reauthorized the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Wednesday. U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), cosponsor of the legislation, says the authorization provides federal funding to programs and organizations that provide assistance to victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The grants, provided through the Department of Justice along with the Department of Health and Human Services, established such outreach programs as the National Domestic Violence Hotline and other outreach programs aimed at the education and prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The re-authorization of VAWA provides funding for an additional 5 years and it also increases the mandatory penalty for forcible rape to 10 years.