House passes HR 4970

On May 16, 2012, the House of Representatives passed HR 4970. The House bill provides for major changes to the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA"), originally passed in 1994. There are significant modifications that could practically eviscerate VAWA including potential notification to abusers; expedited removal for material misrepresentation; judging applications by a higher standard of proof, namely, "clear and convincing"; personal interviews; the elimination of the Vermont Service Center VAWA unit; and a narrowing of circumstances under which a U visa may be granted.