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Chairman Nadler & Subcommittee Chairwoman Bass Applaud House Passage of Bipartisan Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

Washington, April 4, 2019
Tags: Women

Washington, D.C. - Today, the House passed H.R. 1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA), by a vote of 263-158.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The landmark legislation, enacted in 1994, responds to our nation’s crisis of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  The 2019 reauthorization bill maintains current law and makes critical improvements to address dating violence, stalking and concerns raised by the #Metoo movement; increases protections for Native American women, addresses violence against men and children, and is more inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement:

“It has been my honor to help shepherd the House passage of the Violence Against Women Act. As Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, I was proud to move quickly to take up the bill after it was introduced and help pass it out of the Committee a week later.  Today, we passed the bill on the House floor.  I applaud Crime Subcommittee Chair Rep. Karen Bass, the sponsor of this legislation, for her leadership in this effort, as well as Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, for her longstanding and tireless efforts over the years to protect and to strengthen the Act.  This would not have happened without the tremendous work of so many advocates around the country.

“VAWA has changed the way we talk about the issue of violence and continues to have a positive impact on people who rely on its assistance, whether directly or indirectly. This 2019 reauthorization bill expands the existing protections of VAWA, modernizes and updates its programs, and responds to the needs identified by the survivors and advocates across this nation. I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure this bill becomes law.”

Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) released the following statement:

“In South Los Angeles, the Jenesse Center helps hundreds every year. VAWA funding has supported the growth of Jenesse’s legal department, which provides direct legal services that not only assist survivors in securing immediate safety, but also help them achieve long-term goals of stability and self-sufficiency. But this issue isn’t unique to South Los Angeles. It is estimated that more than two million adults and more than 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence annually. These alarming figures make it imperative that we reauthorize VAWA now. I’m proud of this first step of passage by the House of Representatives and hope that the Senate soon follows suit. We cannot wait any longer.”

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 improves current law in several important respects:

  • Enhances judicial and law enforcement tools;
  • Improves services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; 
  • Provides services, protection, and justice for young victims of violence;
  • Reauthorizes and updates the SMART Prevention Program to reduce dating violence, help children exposed to violence, and engage men in preventing violence; 
  • Expands grants under the Public Health Service Act to support implementation of training programs to improve the capacity of early childhood programs to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking among the families they serve; 
  • Preserves and expands housing protections for survivors; 
  • Provides economic security assistance for survivors;
  • Helps prevent intimate partner homicides and dating violence;
  • Helps protect Native American women, by including provisions to improve tribal access to federal crime information databases, and reaffirming and expanding tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators;
  • Protects the Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice from being de-emphasized, merged, or consolidated into any other DOJ office.   

VAWA officially expired on September 30, 2018, but was briefly extended in a continuing resolution before expiring in December 2018. VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2019 is supported by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF), a large, bipartisan, and diverse group of national, tribal, state, territorial, and local organizations, advocates, and individuals that focus on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

The Violence Against Women Act was widely supported in the House. The cosponsors of the legislation include: Reps. Alma Adams, Peter Aguilar, Cynthia Axne, Nanette Barragan, Joyce Beatty, Donald Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Brendan Boyle, Anthony Brown, Julia Brownley, Cheri Bustos, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cardenas, Ed Case, Sean Casten, Kathy Castor, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Gilbert Cisneros, Katherine Clark, Yvette Clarke, William Clay, James Clyburn, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Lou Correa, Joe Courtney, Angie Craig, Jason Crow, Elijah Cummings, Susan Davis, Madeleine  Dean, Pete DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Suzan DelBene, Antonio Delgado, Val Demings, Debbie Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Veronica Escobar, Anna Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Brian Fitzpatrick, Lizzie Fletcher, Bill Foster, Lois Frankel, Marcia Fudge, Tulsi Gabbard, Ruben Gallego, John Garamendi, Jesus Garcia, Sylvia Garcia, Vicente Gonzalez, Josh Gottheimer, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Debra Haaland, Josh Harder, Dennis Heck, Brian Higgins, Katie Hill, Jim Himes, Steven Horsford, Chrissy Houlahan, Steny Hoyer, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Eddie Johnson, William Keating, Robin Kelly, Joseph Kennedy, Ro Khanna, Derek Kilmer, Andy Kim, Ron Kind, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann Kuster, Jim Langevin, Rick Larsen, Brenda Lawrence, Susie Lee, Andy Levin, Daniel Lipinski, Dave Loebsack, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Stephen Lynch, Carolyn Maloney, Sean Maloney, Doris Matsui, Lucy McBath, Betty McCollum, A. Donald McEachin, Jim McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Gwen Moore, Joe Morelle, Seth Moulton, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Jerry Nadler, Grace Napolitano, Eleanor Norton, Tom O Halleran, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Jimmy Panetta, Chris Pappas, Donald Payne, Nancy Pelosi, Chellie  Pingree, Stacey Plaskett, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Mike Quigley, Jamie Raskin, Kathleen Rice, Cedric Richmond, Lisa Rochester, Max Rose, Harley Rouda, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Dutch Ruppersberger, Tim Ryan, Gregorio Sablan, Linda Sanchez, John Sarbanes, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Bradley Schneider, Kurt Schrader, Kim Schrier, David Scott, Jose Serrano, Terri Sewell, Donna Shalala, Albio Sires, Elissa Slotkin, Adam Smith, Jackie Speier, Greg Stanton, Haley Stevens, Tom Suozzi, Eric Swalwell, Mike Thompson, Dina Titus, Paul Tonko, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Lauren Underwood, Jefferson Van Drew, Juan Vargas, Filemon Vela, Nydia Velazquez, Pete Visclosky, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Peter Welch, Jennifer Wexton, Susan Wild, Frederica Wilson and John Yarmuth.

The following Members have expressed their support for the legislation and would have been added as a cosponsor to H.R. 1585, but for a clerical error: Reps. Colin Allred, Ami Bera, Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., G.K. Butterfield, Andre Carson, Matt Cartwright, Joaquin Castro, Emanuel Cleaver, Gerald Connolly, Jim Costa, TJ Cox, Charlie Crist, Sharice Davids, Danny K. Davis, Rosa DeLauro, Mark DeSaulnier, Theodore E. Deutch, Michael F. Doyle, Eliot Engel, Dwight Evans, Abby Finkenauer, Jimmy Gomez, Alcee L. Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Kendra S. Horn, Hakeem Jeffries, Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr., Marcy Kaptur, Daniel, T. Kildee, John Larson, Al Lawson, Barbara Lee, Mike Levin, John Lewis, Ted Lieu, Nita M. Lowey, Ben Ray Lujan, Elaine G. Luria, Tom Malinowski, Stephanie N. Murphy, Richard E. Neal, Joe Neguse, Michael San Nicolas, Donald Norcross, Bill Jr. Pascrell, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Peters, Dean Phillips, Mark Pocan, David E. Price, Harely Rouda, Raul Ruiz, Bobby Rush, Mary Gay Scanlon, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Brad Sherman, Mikie Sherrill, Darren Soto, Abigail Davis Spanberger, Mark Takano, Bennie G. Thompson, Rashida Tlaib, Norma J. Torres, Xochitl Torres Small and Marc A. Veasey.

VAWA fact sheet is available here.

VAWA bill text is available here.

VAWA section by section is available here.

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