close Exit Site If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224, or 911 if it is safe to do so. Learn more technology safety tips. There is always a computer trail, but you can leave this site quickly.
Donate Now Exit Site Add
US Capitol building
Action Alert

NNEDV is proud to work with coalitions and advocates to center the needs survivors and ens [Read More]

Take Action

Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Since its enactment, VAWA programs, administered by the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS), have dramatically improved federal, tribal, state, and local responses to these crimes.

The U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on H.R. 1620, the bipartisan bill to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). NNEDV supports H.R. 1620 and urges all Representatives to vote YES on VAWA. Read our letter here.

Reauthorization Updates

On March 8th, 2021, a bipartisan bill to renew and improve VAWA was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), and Hon. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10). The bill builds upon H.R.1585 which passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in 2019.

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 reflects the input and many of the priorities of the domestic and sexual assault movement. The bill takes a holistic approach, addressing the complex realities of survivors’ lives. It maintains established protections, while also addressing persistent gaps. In particular, NNEDV supports:

  • funding, including a new $40 million authorization for the Culturally Specific Services Program;
  • avenues to justice that focus on victim autonomy, agency, and safety, including restorative justice practices, investments in responses beyond a criminal system approach, and expanded access to VAWA-funded legal services for survivors;
  • housing protections that allow survivors in federally-assisted housing to relocate to new, safe housing with victim relocation vouchers; maintain housing after a perpetrator leaves; or terminate a lease early;
  • restoration of tribal jurisdiction that allows tribes to hold non-native perpetrators of sexual assault, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse, assault against law enforcement officers, and trafficking accountable when they commit crimes on native lands;
  • investment in prevention via the Rape Prevention and Education Program and VAWA Department of Justice prevention programs;
  • closure of dangerous legal loopholes in existing federal domestic violence-related firearms laws that will help reduce domestic violence and dating violence homicides;
  • economic justice responses that help survivors access unemployment insurance and help to clarify what constitutes economic abuse; and
  • VAWA non-discrimination requirements guarantee equal access to VAWA protections for all survivors regardless of gender.

The bill, however, does not include vital provisions for immigrant survivors. Immigrant survivors continue to face abuse and must be able to access VAWA protections and obtain desperately needed U Visas. The final bill must address these concerns.

NNEDV, our membership, and national partners will be working closely with the House and Senate to secure the best bill possible, particularly considering the needs of historically marginalized survivors.

No Senate companion has been introduced yet.

Background

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Since its enactment, VAWA programs, administered by the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS), have dramatically improved federal, tribal, state, and local responses to these crimes.

View our VAWA Factsheet Here! 

Through the original bill, which passed in 1994, VAWA created the first U.S. federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes, and provided federal resources to encourage community-coordinated responses to combating violence. Up for renewal every five years, each VAWA reauthorization builds on existing protections and programs to better meet the needs of survivors. Reauthorized in 2000 it created a much-needed legal assistance program for victims and included responses to dating violence and stalking. In 2005, VAWA created new, holistic responses programs to meet the emerging needs of survivors and communities, such as prevention, landmark housing protections for survivors, funding for rape crisis centers, and culturally- and linguistically-specific services. VAWA 2013 enhanced access to safety and justice for Native American and LGBTQ survivors.

Check back for updated information as the bill proceed in the 117th Congress.

VAWA Housing protections

NNEDV works closely with allied organizations and experts to develop and implement the housing provisions VAWA. See our factsheet for more information.

Read about VAWA’s 2013 Reauthorization.

Want to know how your Members of Congress voted on VAWA? Find the Senate roll call vote here (78-22) and the House of Representatives roll call vote here (286-138).