Protect survivors – reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

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