"The federal criminal justice system is simply not equipped to handle local crimes, and this is the primary reason that tribes seek local control over these crimes that are plaguing our communities," the letter said.
A second issue of contention involved undocumented immigrants.
Human Rights Watch has found that immigrant farm workers are especially at risk for domestic abuse and argued provisions in the Senate bill "would go some way toward fixing the problem."
Supporters of the Senate bill said the House version undercut protections for undocumented immigrants.
Leslye Orloff, the director of the National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project at American University, helped draft protections for immigrants in the Violence Against Women Act. She said the House bill broke with "that history by weakening vital confidentiality provisions" that protected against retaliation.
The law allowed for a U-visa, which gave an undocumented victim protection from deportation if the victim met certain criteria and agreed to assist with the investigation.
"The House bill would put immigrant crime victims on a path 'from report to deport' by making U-visas temporary and contingent on factors outside the victim's control, such as whether a rapist has been identified," Orloff wrote in a commentary for CNN. "It would also remove the possibility of lawful permanent resident status for those who, thanks to the U-visa, are able to summon the courage to report crimes and cooperate in criminal investigations and prosecutions."
The U-visa, she said, has been instrumental in solving and preventing serious crimes that include murder, rape, torture and kidnapping.
Those in the LGBT community are another high-risk group that will be affected by the Violence Against Women Act.
They experience violence at the same rate as heterosexuals but are less likely to report it. When they do, many are denied services. About 45% of LGBT victims were turned away when they sought help from a domestic violence shelter and nearly 55% of those who sought protection orders were denied them, according to the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.
Those added provisions ended up as battle lines between Democrats and Republicans in a Congress that earned a reputation as "do-nothing."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, called the House version of the bill a "backward step for women." She has already pledged to make the Violence Against Women Act a priority for the 113th Congress, the most diverse one to date.
Cantor's spokeswoman, Megan Whittemore, said the majority leader had not blocked anything but worked hard to move the bill forward. Cantor, she said, has been seeking "common ground across party lines (to) put an end to violence against women."
How it all turns out is left to be seen, as lawmakers must start over with legislation aimed at protecting the women of America.