WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement welcoming the announcement that a bipartisan reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) through 2027 will be included in the Omnibus Appropriations Agreement that Congress is expected to take up this week:
“Nearly 30 years ago, the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act ushered in a new era in which the federal government recognizes the significance of domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual abuse. The law delivers resources to courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement to hold abusers accountable and to survivors so they can access critical health care, safe housing, and supportive services.
“As one of my first actions in the Senate in 2013, I was proud to fight for key provisions in the last reauthorization of VAWA that increased protections for Native American women, LGBTQ victims, and immigrant women. But I was dismayed to see Congress and the previous administration allow the authorization for VAWA to expire three years ago. Although Congress continued funding for VAWA programs, we are overdue to renew and strengthen this bedrock law.
“This new version of the law will strengthen rape prevention and education efforts for students, provide greater access to services for survivors in rural communities, LGBTQ survivors, and survivors who seek voluntary, community-based restorative practice services. It will support training for sexual assault forensic examiners and help law enforcement officers improve their response to sexual violence. Finally, I am pleased that this new law will recognize Tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and child violence crimes.
“By passing a strong, bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Congress and President Biden—who was a leader in the original passage of VAWA back in 1994—will once again affirm that all people, regardless of their gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or ethnic background should have the same right to live free from domestic and sexual violence.”
Senator Heinrich is a cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2022, which is sponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
You can find more specifics on the bill here.