The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF) applauds House Judiciary Crime Subcommitte Chairwoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) for introducing H.R.1620, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization
Act of 2021. H.R.1620 is a slightly updated reintroduction of last session’s Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.
The NTF is a national collaboration comprising a large and diverse group of national, tribal, state, territorial, and local organizations, advocates, and individuals that focuses on the development, passage, and implementation of effective public policy to address
domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The NTF is the evolution of the coalition that worked with now-President Biden on the initial Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and that continues to work with Congress to reauthorize and strengthen
VAWA every five years.
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.
Now is not the time to maintain the status quo, nor is it acceptable to turn back the clock and reduce access to safety and justice for victims and survivors.The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 is a targeted bill with a broad impact.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 reauthorizes VAWA grant programs and makes modest yet vital enhancements to existing law. Among other things, H.R.1620:
- Supports Communities of Color;
- Ends 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;
- Improves enforcement of court orders that require adjudicated domestic abusers to relinquish their firearms;
- Improves access to housing for victims and survivors;
- Protects victims of dating violence from firearm homicide;
- Helps survivors gain and maintain economic independence;
- Maintains existing protections for all survivors; and
- Improves the healthcare system’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
The NTF urges the House to immediately pass this critical legislation and the Senate to pass this bill soon thereafter.