Hirono helps secure funding for Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation providing funding for Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono pushed for this after a previous version of The Violence Against Women Act inadvertently excluded Native Hawaiian survivors.
The Violence Against Woman Act provides funding to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, sex-trafficking, dating violence and stalking.
Hirono’s legislation amends the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to ensure Native Hawaiian organizations can actually serve the Native Hawaiian community.
“It would likely shock many of my colleagues to learn about the gender-based violence and sex-trafficking numbers in Hawaii,” Hirono said.
“And of sex trafficking survivors in Hawaii — over 70% percent are Native Hawaiian women and girls.”
According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, more than two-thirds of sex trafficking victims in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian women and girls, and 37% of reported child sex trafficking cases in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian.
Hirono said the funding is critical to support women, including Native women who experience disproportionally high levels of sexual violence.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
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