VAWA Reauthorization Basics
July 3, 2012
There have been numerous questions about VAWA, and NNEDV knows that this legislative process can be very confusing. Here is some basic information for those who would like to learn more.
Why is VAWA taking so long to get passed?
A strong, bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act passed the Senate in March that included protections for all victims. Your calls and support made that possible! However, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed an unsupported version of reauthorization that took out all the protections for LGBTQ and Native American women victims of violence, significantly rolled back protections for battered and abused immigrants. Since there was so much discrepancy between the Senate version and the House version, the legislative process is stalled until they can come to a bipartisan agreement to pass a compromise version of the bill.
How does calling my congressperson help pass VAWA?
Calling your representative lets them know that passing VAWA matters to the people who elected them! It shows them we care and are not going to stop until they pass the proposed legislation that safely and effectively protects all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Why do we need to reauthorize VAWA now?
- Native American victims of domestic violence often cannot seek the same justice and assistance that other victims can because their courts are not allowed to prosecute non-Native offenders--even for crimes committed on Tribal land. This major gap in justice, safety, and violence prevention has been identified over and over again and the Senate version identifies a solution for this. All victims of violence deserve justice and should not wait any longer for it.
- Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Bisexual survivors of violence sometimes face discrimination when seeking help. The Senate version of VAWA prohibits this discrimination because all victims of violence should have access to the same services to overcome trauma and find safety. They shouldn't wait any longer to be granted that protection.
- All survivors who seek help should be granted the confidentiality they need to maintain their safety from the abusive person. The House version removed critical confidentiality protections for immigrant survivors that can place their lives in danger. The Senate version maintains those protections for all victims of violence, because everyone deserves to be safe.
- Passing the Senate version of VAWA immediately means that survivors don't wait for safety or for justice. Every person's life is important and every victim needs protection.