The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed 25 years ago. The law changed the conversation about domestic violence as millions of Americans took gender-based violence seriously. It is also is credited for a dramatic decrease in the rate of domestic violence in the United States.
In April, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. Now it is time for the U.S. Senate to vote. They need to hear from you. Please tell them to VOTE YES.
This bill continues the critical programs that have helped reduce domestic violence and sexual assault over the last 25 years, and adds new programs focused on preventing violence, helping children and youth exposed to violence, and doing more to help victims from vulnerable communities impacted by these crimes. Reauthorization is critical especially with a new provision that is aimed at curbing sexual violence by expanding law enforcement’s ability to strip domestic abusers of their guns. This new language is especially important, even if it saves one life.
At the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, we provide access to justice to women who live in fear and danger. VAWA gives them crucial legal protections that they deserve. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is just around the corner in October. The timing is right for the U.S. Senate to follow the U.S. House’s lead and reauthorize VAWA with critical enhancements and no rollbacks.