WASHINGTON— Today the House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization. The House passed an identical reauthorization in 2019 that was never brought up for a vote in Mitch McConnell’s Republican-controlled Senate. Since its passage in 1994, VAWA has provided critical resources to prevent domestic violence and protect women and children from its consequences while ensuring that survivors can access essential services. The reauthorization includes much-needed improvements to responding to gender-based violence in Indian Country, improving the health care system’s response to gender-based violence, and increasing funds for support services and prevention efforts. After voting in favor of the legislation, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement:
“It was shameful that the Republican-led Congress let VAWA expire in 2018, and Mitch McConnell never brought our bill up for a vote in the Senate after Democrats passed a reauthorization in 2019. This VAWA reauthorization is a critical step toward ending the scourge of gender-based violence in this country while providing survivors with the services and support they need to stay safe and bring their abusers to justice.
“With an astonishing number of Native women facing gender-based violence, this legislation makes drastic improvements. It remedies the issues tribal governments have faced in holding non-Native perpetrators of abuse accountable and improves the response rate to cases concerning murdered and missing Indigenous women. The law should protect all women, regardless of where they live, and I’m pleased this reauthorization does just that.”