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Chairman Nadler Lauds Committee Passage of Bipartisan Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

Washington, DC, March 13, 2019
Tags: Crime

Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA), by a vote of 22 to 11. The legislation now heads to the House floor for a full vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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.

Following Committee passage of VAWA legislation, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement:

“I’m pleased the House Judiciary Committee passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and that it is now on its way to the House floor for a vote. Reauthorizing current law, as is, is simply not enough. 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’m disappointed my Republican colleagues on the Committee chose to promote their anti-trans agenda during the VAWA hearing and again today while marking up the legislation.  Instead of working with us to strengthen and pass this bill, they chose to offer amendments that would strip gender identity provisions from the bill that were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2013 and already part of current law. VAWA has always had strong bipartisan support and I ask that our Committee Republicans join our Republican co-sponsor in supporting this 2019 bill to continue this precedent.

“We must do all that we can to ensure VAWA works for every woman, man, and child who may need its protections and that fewer families and individuals experience the trauma of domestic violence and assault. I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure this bill becomes law.”

Chairman Nadler’s full statement is available here.

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. 

VAWA fact sheet is available here.

VAWA bill text is available here.

VAWA section by section is available here.