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NNEDV Celebrates House Passage of VAWA

April 4, 2019

NNEDV Urges Senate to pass H.R. 1585  

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.1585, a bill to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The vital legislation passed on a bipartisan vote of 263-158. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) applauds the bill’s sponsors Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and all those who voted for VAWA’s passage.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) responds to the insidious and pervasive nature of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, and supports comprehensive, effective and cost-saving responses to these crimes. H.R. 1585 is a modest reauthorization bill that builds on VAWA’s success by addressing gaps in the current law through critical improvements to ensure survivors have access to safety and justice. Specifically, H.R. 1585 affirms tribes’ sovereignty to prosecute non-Native offenders of sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and stalking; expands protections to prevent homicide;  enhances economic protections; increases resources for key prevention programs; maintains vital non-discrimination protections; and continues to invest in life-saving programs.

“The House VAWA reauthorization bill protects all survivors of domestic and sexual violence, enhances housing and economic protections, and invests in preventative measures that move us closer to a future free from gender-based violence.” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. “We now urge the Senate to center the needs of survivors and quickly pass this bill, which expands access to safety and justice for all survivors.”

Additionally, H.R. 1585 builds on VAWA’s landmark housing protections. For most survivors, housing is safety. When survivors face domestic violence and sexual assault in their homes, they need strong protections and robust options to keep safe, with the ability to maintain current or obtain new housing or to flee without penalty. H.R. 1585 creates robust housing protections that enhance survivors access to safe and affordable housing.

Gandy added, “H.R. 1585 builds on our steady progress to address gender-based violence in this nation. Policies enshrined in VAWA honor the brave survivors who have come forward recently and create pathways for those still waiting in the shadows.”

NNEDV urges the Senate to swiftly pass this bill.