VAWA

THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), enacted in 1994, creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to the pervasive and insidious crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.

It is up for reauthorization every five to six years and this year, on April 4th 2019, the House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, with bipartisan support. The VAWA Act of 2019 is a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for five more years. It makes vital improvements that are necessary to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking and to hold offenders accountable.

It is time for the Senate to take up the Violence Against Women Act of 2019.

KEY FACTS

  • Between 2014-2016, VAWA programs provided over 1 million services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or child or elder abuse.
  • VAWA supports nearly 1,900 domestic violence programs and over 1,300 rape crisis centers that provide core services such as crisis intervention, specialized education, and solutions to prevent violence.
  • The Reauthorization Act of 2019 includes improvements that
    • Address bullying, support prevention education for students, and expands training for campus health centers. 
  • Closes the “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting non-married people who are convicted of dating violence or misdemeanor stalking, from possessing firearms. 
  • Protects Native American women by improving tribal access to crime information databases and expanding tribal criminal authority over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and trafficking. 

If you want to learn more about sexual and domestic violence, visit: National Task Force to End Sexual Domestic Violence “The Critical Role of VAWA: Services to Victims and their Families”

TAKE ACTION

Email your Senators and let them know you want them to bring VAWA to the floor! You can use the sample language below click the take action button to use our form.

Dear [your Senator’s name], I am, [your name] a constituent from [your location and, if you are affiliated with a domestic violence or sexual assault program, the name of your program]. I am emailing you today to urge you to support bringing H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Act of 2019, to the floor. The Violence Against Women Act is one of the pillars of the federal response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. 

[Tell your Senator why VAWA has been so important to your community or, if you have a story you feel comfortable sharing, share your experience]. Every time VAWA has been reauthorized, it has been strengthened based on our increased understanding of gender-based violence. H.R.1585, which passed the House with strong bipartisan support, maintains protections for all victims, makes vital investments in sexual assault prevention, ensures sexual predators who prey on Native women can be held accountable, 5 protects victims of domestic violence from intimate partner homicide, and increases victims’ access to safe housing and economic stability. As a constituent, I urge you to support the success of H.R. 1585 in the Senate. (Source: National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Toolkit for Calling Senators)

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or sexual violence, please use these resources