March 17, 2021, Washington DC – National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) hails the House passage of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (VAWA), which would directly impact survivors and service providers. NCJW Chief Policy Officer Jody Rabhan released the following statement:
“Today, the House took an important step to help end the scourge of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Women, children, and families across the country will feel the positive effects of critical updates to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) thanks to Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). In 1994, NCJW worked to help write and pass the first version of VAWA, and since then, we have remained at the table through subsequent reauthorizations to ensure the needs of survivors. We are thrilled the House has passed this critical legislation and look forward to working with the Senate to ensure its necessary passage into law.
“The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 would maintain protections for all survivors; make vital investments in prevention; improve access to housing for survivors; address urgent and particular needs of native survivors; improve the health care system’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking; address communities most impacted including communities of color and native communities, and increase survivors’ access to safe housing and economic stability.
“We know that while domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking had decreased significantly since 1994 when VAWA was first passed, rates of violence are still far too high: One in five women and one in 59 men are raped in their lifetimes; one in four women and one in seven men experience severe physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetimes, and one in six women and one in nineteen men experience stalking in their lifetimes. Each time VAWA has been reauthorized, it has been strengthened based on our increased understanding of gender-based violence.
“Sexual and domestic violence violates the Jewish belief in Kavod Ha Bri’ot, the fundamental dignity of every individual. It is through this lens that NCJW will continue our urgent work towards a world where bodily autonomy and the sanctity of each person’s body and health is paramount.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.