I applaud the House of Representatives for passing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) with bipartisan support — and I urge the Senate to follow their lead to renew and strengthen this landmark law.
Writing and passing VAWA is one of the legislative accomplishments of which I’m most proud. VAWA has transformed the way our country responds to violence against women. And, with each re-authorization, the Congress has expanded VAWA’s provisions on a bipartisan basis to improve protections, including for Native American women and survivors from underserved communities, and improve efforts to prevent intimate partner violence.
While we have made significant progress, there is still much work to do. As many as 1 in 3 women are subjected to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking at some point in their lives, and the rate is even higher for women of color, Native American women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Growing evidence shows that COVID-19 has only exacerbated the threat of intimate partner violence, creating a pandemic within a pandemic for countless women at risk for abuse. In short, this is an urgent crisis.
This should not be a Democratic or Republican issue — it’s about standing up against the abuse of power and preventing violence. I am grateful to the House of Representatives for their leadership and dedication to ending gender-based violence. Now, I urge the Senate to follow past precedent and bring a strong bipartisan coalition together to ensure the passage of VAWA so that I can sign this legislation as soon as possible.