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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. 

Contact your U.S. Senators here and insist they vote now for a VAWA reauthorization bill that enhances protections for survivors and does more to prevent violence.


What reauthorizing and strengthening the Violence Against Women Act will do:

Kids Running

Invest in prevention by supporting programs to help children exposed to violence, works with teens and youth to build healthy relationships and engages men and boys to prevent domestic and sexual violence

Image by Rod Long

Improves the VAWA Health program to train more health care providers and make it easier to help children and elders affected by domestic and sexual violence

Image by Brianna Santellan

Build on the #MeToo movement and make it easier for victims to be economically independent, be treated fairly by their employer and to access safe housing


Expand protections for Native American survivors who are harmed by non-Native perpetrators to cover sexual assault, child abuse, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law enforcement officers on tribal lands


Expands protections and violence prevention efforts for the

LGBTQ  community, who are more often the targets of sexual abuse

and violence

Image by Aliyah Jamous

Strengthen  provisions to keep guns away from convicted domestic abusers and those with protective orders against them, including dating partners who are not married to their victims

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