House Bill to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act Falls Short
February 22, 2013
Leadership substitute for Senate-passed bill fails to address victims' needs, must be improved before final passage
Today, House Republican leaders introduced a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). That bill fails to adequately support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
"We were extremely hopeful that House leadership would introduce a bill that would safely and effectively meet the needs of all victims," said Kim Gandy, President of NNEDV. "Unfortunately, the House substitute introduced today fails to do so."
The House may vote on their bill as early as Wednesday, February 27th. NNEDV and other organizations are urging members of Congress to vote against this bill as it currently stands.
"There are over 20 House Republicans who have made public statements in support of a bipartisan VAWA that protects all victims. This is not that bill. We look forward to continuing to work with all members of Congress to make this a reality."
VAWA is the cornerstone of our nation's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and because of VAWA, millions of victims have received lifesaving services and support. Despite VAWA's proven ability to substantially improve lives, it has not reached all victims. VAWA's reauthorization provides an opportunity to build upon the successes of the current law by including key improvements to protect and provide safety and access to justice for Native American, immigrant, and LGBT victims, as well as victims on college campuses and in communities of color. Additionally, a reauthorized VAWA must include strengthened housing protections that provide emergency housing transfer options for survivors, as well as implementation of transparent and effective accountability measures that support and strengthen, rather than endanger, the programs that assist victims.