Press Releases

Beyer Votes to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Rep. Don Beyer today voted to pass H.R. 1620, a bipartisan, long-term Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. The landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 ushered in transformative progress by calling for the protection of all Americans from violence and abuse, and working to ensure all victims and survivors have the support they need. This critical reauthorization will safeguard and further strengthen these life-saving protections for women across the country.

“The pandemic sadly made it abundantly clear if anyone had doubts that the Violence Against Women Act is still a sorely needed piece of legislation,” said Rep. Beyer. “We owe it to victims and survivors to do all we can to protect them and fight domestic violence. Congress should do all it can to ensure that all women have the resources and support they need to seek justice, receive care, and rebuild their lives, and that includes sending this bill to the President’s desk.”

This VAWA reauthorization builds upon the progress forged over the two-and-a-half decades since this legislation was first passed: since then, the rate of domestic violence in America has fallen by half.  But more protections are needed, especially as 1 in 3 women still experience domestic violence, and as the coronavirus crisis has forced many women to quarantine in unsafe domestic situations.

This latest robust and bipartisan long-term reauthorization improves the current law, including by:

•            Making vital new investments in violence prevention;

•            Strengthening essential protections for the most vulnerable, including immigrant, LGBTQ and Native American women and specifically supporting communities of color in a culturally-sensitive way;

•            Improving services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;

•            Making improvements in the criminal justice response to gender-based violence and improving the health care system’s response to domestic violence;

•            Helping stop abusers and stalkers from obtaining firearms; and

•            Expanding protections for victims’ and survivors’ financial security, including housing protections and anti-discrimination protections in the workplace.