Tuesday, March 5, 2013

VAWA Reauthorization Moves to the President's Desk

Last Thursday, Feb. 28, the House of Representatives passed S. 47, a strong, inclusive bill to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), by a vote of 286-138.  The same bill was passed by the Senate just weeks before with a vote of 78-22. As you see, both of these votes included a strong, bipartisan showing.  This just goes to show that there are still some issues that unite us across party lines.

The VAWA reauthorization now moves to the President’s desk for signature.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill on Thursday, March 7. 

Thank you for all of your hard work to make this happen!  Please take a minute to thank your Members of Congress for this important legislation that will provide new resources and support for victims of violence.

VAWA Background:

Since its original passage in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has dramatically enhanced our nation’s response to violence against girls and women, boys and men. More victims report domestic violence to the police and the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 64%.  VAWA provides for a coordinated community approach, improving collaboration between law enforcement and victim services providers to better meet the needs of victims. These comprehensive and cost-effective programs not only save lives, they also save money. In fact, VAWA saved nearly $12.6 billion in net averted social costs in just its first six years.

VAWA’s programs support state, tribal, and local efforts to address the pervasive and insidious crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  These programs have made great progress towards reducing the violence, helping victims to be healthy and feel safe and holding perpetrators accountable.  This critical legislation must be reauthorized to ensure a continued response to these crimes.  This particular reauthorization of VAWA also included important new provisions to improve protection and support for native women, immigrants, LGBT victims, and campus women.  Click here for more information about the new Violence Against Women Act.

And in addition to the success of an inclusive VAWA, the final bill also included the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) (S. 1301), a positive bill that is the United States’ most important tool in fighting against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.  For a factsheet on S.1301, click here