VAWA Reauthorization 2021 — #StandWithSurvivors

VAWA Reauthorization:

H.R. 1620 – House Bill Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (bipartisan)

This is a slightly updated version of H. 1585 which passed in 2019, but was not taken up by the Senate.

Among other provisions, HR 1585 (and now this new VAWA bill):

  • Enhances and expands victim services;
  • Increases funding for prevention programs;
  • Ends impunity for non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse co-occurring with domestic violence, stalking, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law enforcement officers on tribal lands;
  • Protects victims of dating violence from firearm homicide (aka closes the boyfriend loophole);
  • Ensures compliance with VAWA non-discrimination requirements and guarantee equal access to VAWA protections for all victims regardless of gender;
  • Provides economic justice responses that help survivors access unemployment insurance and help to clarify what constitutes economic abuse;
  • Maintains existing protections for all survivors; and
  • Improves the healthcare system’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Update March 18th: Late yesterday evening (3/17/2021), H.R. 1620 passed in the House of Representatives, 244-172 with bipartisan support. We are thankful to Congressman Clyburn for his willingness to #StandWithSurvivors and vote yes on this bill.

Update March 16, 2021: This bill is being fast-tracked with the hope of passage by April. It is expected to be on the floor this week. Although 170 co-sponsors have signed on to the bill, no members of the South Carolina delegation are currently listed.

Now is the time to call/email your Senator and urge them to swiftly pass the House Bill.

We’ve drafted the following talking points for your use.

I am writing to ask Sen. XXXX to support the passage of H.R.1620, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. H.R. 1620 responds to the very real, identified needs of survivors and communities across the country, preventing future violence, enhancing and expanding services for survivors, investing in culturally-specific organizations, and improving access to justice for survivors. Reauthorizing VAWA is important to our community/program/state for these reasons XXXXXXX.

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 reauthorizes VAWA grant programs and makes modest yet vital enhancements to existing law. We hope you will support passage of this vital legislation. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Please check back frequently for updates as we continue to monitor the situation in Washington, D.C.