Press Releases

Pelosi, Nadler, Bass & Fitzpatrick Announce Introduction of Bipartisan Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

Washington, DC, March 7, 2019
Tags: Crime

Today, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), held a press conference with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, to introduce H.R. 1585, the bipartisan 2019 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The landmark legislation, enacted in 1994, responds to our nation’s crisis of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

Subcommittee Chairwoman Bass said, “Today is a very important day for survivors everywhere. We are here to follow through on the pledge we made to the American people when we said we will deliver in this 116th Congress. We said reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act was a priority in the first 100 days of this Congress and today we are keeping our word by introducing this bipartisan bill. I hope my colleagues on both sides of aisle will join me in supporting this important piece of legislation.”

Chairman Nadler said, “Domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault do not discriminate based on your age, sex, income, race, or religion. This reauthorization bill expands the existing protections of VAWA, modernizes and updates its programs, and responds to the needs identified by the survivors and advocates who devote their lives to ending intimate partner violence.  We must do all that we can to ensure VAWA works for every woman, man, or child who may need its protections and that fewer families and individuals experience the trauma of domestic violence and assault.”

Congressman Fitzpatrick said, “Congress must continue to aggressively combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking by swiftly reauthorizing the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). While there is still considerable work to be done, VAWA has drastically improved our nation’s response to safeguarding women and children from abuse and anguish. Congress has historically reauthorized VAWA with broad bipartisan agreement.”

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 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 Reauthorization Act of 2019 is supported by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF), a large 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. 

A copy of the bill is available here.

VAWA section by section is available here.

VAWA fact sheet is available here.