February 9, 2022, Washington, DC – National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has long awaited the Senate introduction of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA), which would directly impact survivors and service providers. NCJW CEO Sheila Katz released the following statement:
“After considered deliberations, the Senate introduced a bipartisan bill 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 Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
“Each time VAWA has been reauthorized, it has been strengthened based on our increased understanding of gender-based violence. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022 is no different. Informed by survivors and advocates, the bill would invest in prevention; increase access to services for survivors, including community-specific services and legal services; maintain existing protections for all survivors, including immigrant, LGBTQ, and Native survivors; improve housing access for survivors; expand access to safety and justice for Native survivors; sustain vital non-discrimination provisions; improve access for culturally specific communities; and address the needs of incarcerated women. It is an important step in the right direction for survivors.
“However, we are disappointed the Senate bill fails to include — for the first time in 27 years — provisions to improve immigration protections for survivors and address longstanding barriers to safety, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to prioritize the needs of survivors in immigrant communities.
“Sexual and domestic violence violate 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. 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 are met. NCJW advocates across the country are eager to work with their senators to again pass this important legislation that would provide contemporary solutions to the longstanding and pervasive issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.”
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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.