It’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It expired on September 30, 2018 and Congress has only extended it until December 7 by including it in the Continuing Resolution.
VAWA first passed in 1994 and reauthorized three times, provided a lifeline for all survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.VAWA has had a significant impact on ending violence: reporting of domestic violence has increased 51%, every state has passed laws making stalking a crime and has strengthened their rape laws, and the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34% for women and 57% for men.
Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018 (HR 6545), introduced by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), builds on what we have learned since 1994, by:
- making important investments in prevention
- safeguarding critical protections that ensure all survivors have access to safety and justice
- holding those who prey on Native women accountable
- providing law enforcement with new tools to protect their communities
- offering protections for survivors in federal public, subsidized, and assisted housing
- supporting survivors who need assistance rebuilding financially
- addressing the needs of underserved communities
- improving the health care response