The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill on April 4, 2019 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), H.R. 1585. See picture to the right for final count on this bill. (See also Roll Call votes on H.R. 1585)
It is important to reach out to your Senators to let them know that you support H.R. 1585 or a bill significantly similar. Click this link to go to the Senate mini-toolkit prepared by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.
If the Senate passes a different version of the Violence Against Women Act, then one of two things will occur: 1) The Senate and House have a conference committee to agree on a revised bill, or 2) The House then votes on the Senate version of the bill.
To find out how to contact your Senators and representatives, please go here.
H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, incorporates many enhancements recommended by the field following extensive outreach to survivors, direct service providers, and other stakeholders. It meets the needs of diverse survivors by:
- Maintaining vital protections for all survivors and ensuring that none of the enhancements from VAWA 2013 are rolled back, including important remedies for immigrant survivors and the Culturally Specific Services Grant Program (CSSP);
- Increasing Investments in prevention;
- Broadening the definition of domestic violence for VAWA grant programs to ensure a more comprehensive approach to working with DV survivors.
- Ending impunity for non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault, child abuse co-occurring with domestic violence, stalking, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law enforcement officers on tribal lands;
- Improving access to safe housing and economic independence;
- Protecting victims of dating violence and stalking by restricting convicted abusers from having access to firearms and improving enforcement of court-ordered firearm relinquishment and current VAWA restrictions;
- Providing law enforcement with resources to develop more trauma-informed approaches;
- Improving the healthcare system’s and workplace responses to the four crimes;
- Improving proved protections for survivors in federally subsidized housing;
- Supporting victims and survivors who need help rebuilding financially after experiencing violence;
- Addressing the needs of culturally specific and underserved communities;
- Providing funding for Alternative Justice Responses in various VAWA grant programs; and
- Other provisions to improve access to services and safety.
Casa de Esperanza is part of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF). The NTF supports a VAWA reauthorization that continues important protections for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking and makes targeted fixes and modest, yet vital, enhancements. Any bill that erodes current protections is unacceptable. Our recommendations are based on needs identified by direct service providers who work daily with victims and survivors of these four crimes. We will continue to work to obtain bipartisan support for a VAWA reauthorization that meets the needs of victims and survivors and includes the following priorities:
- Provides increased investments to implement evidence-based prevention programming;
- Safeguards current protections and resources to ensure that all victims and survivors have access to safety and justice;
- Improves the mechanism to hold people who perpetrate violence on Native women and children accountable;
- Provides law enforcement with new resources to develop more trauma-informed approaches;
- Provides law enforcement with more resources to enforce court orders and prevent intimate partner and law enforcement homicides;
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) 2019 Reauthorization Efforts
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) was first passed in 1984 and is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. FVPSA supports life-saving services throughout the country through grants to states, tribal governments, and territories, as well as to other critical programs, such as national resource centers and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It has been reauthorized numerous times, most recently in 2010.
The last reauthorization of FVPSA expired in 2015 although funds have continued to be appropriated while efforts are underway to reauthorize FVPSA with key enhancements. Enhancements include, increased authorization levels, new funding for Tribal Coalitions, more equitable distribution of resources to the U.S. territories, increased prevention funding, and the development of a new grant program to Enhance Culturally Specific Services for Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations, as well as a new grant program for Reaching and Serving Underserved Populations.
Fact sheets for VAWA 2019
NTF Complete Toolkit on VAWA, with talking points, myths and facts, and more
Media Articles about VAWA
Roll Call: Violence Against Women Act clears House