Why the Senate Must Reauthorize and Enhance the Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed with strong bipartisan support and was enacted into law on September 13, 1994. VAWA changed how our justice system responds to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking; it enhanced a life-saving national network of services for survivors, and played a major role in significantly reducing domestic violence against adult women.
Few pieces of legislation have such a direct impact on the
lives and safety of so many Americans.
Yet, one in four women in this country still experience physical violence by a partner and on average, three women a day are murdered in this country by a current or former partner. Guns were used in two-thirds of those murders.
Funding for VAWA expired earlier this year, and must be reauthorized by Congress. The House of Representatives passed a reauthorization bill (see details on H.R. 1585 here) with strong bipartisan support that strengthens VAWA, and Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a reauthorization bill in the Senate. But Senate leaders will not schedule a vote.
We cannot let the life-saving programs included in VAWA expire.
Insist that the Senate votes immediately reauthorize and strengthen VAWA.
We also have clear evidence showing the impact of domestic violence on children and need funding for programs to help break the intergenerational cycle of violence within families. We must also do more to prevent violence, including acts of mass gun violence in which perpetrators often kill family members or have a history of domestic violence.