WASHINGTON — A national task force championing the end of domestic and sexual violence Tuesday called on the House to follow the Senate’s lead and start moving to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

The act provides funding to states for training law enforcement agencies and increasing the availability of resources, such as crisis intervention and temporary housing, to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt.,  and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced legislation in November to renew the law, which was first enacted in 1994. The proposal would provide a 25 percent set-aside for sexual assault programming and clarify that VAWA-funded services may be used for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims.

According to Monika Johnson Hostler, a member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, the Senate bill includes many of the advocates’ revisions, including setting aside funding for underserved populations like communities of color.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will review the bill for final changes Thursday before deciding whether to send it to the full Senate for a vote. The bill proposes funding of $651 million per year for five years, which would be an annual cut of about $143 million, according to a Senate staff member.

Besides helping victims, VAWA is “also the collaboration and partnership to ensure that across the state that we’re making systems change, across this nation we’re making systems change,” Hostler said to an audience of congressional staff members Tuesday.

At the briefing, speakers from various state and national domestic violence organizations pushed the House to start work on reauthorization.

The Rev. Anne Marie Hunter said she was the wife of an abusive husband before VAWA was enacted.

Because domestic violence was not a public issue at the time and there were no shelters, she was forced to stay at friends’ houses until she bought her own apartment. When her husband started knocking on her apartment door one night, the police officers arrived at her home, walked him around and left him in the area. He resumed the knocking.

Now, because of VAWA, there are resources available, she said.

“On behalf of all victims and survivors, our grandmothers and grandfathers, our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, I exhort you…to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act because we all deserve to live safe, free and whole,” Hunter said.