In response to the news that today a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S.3623) (VAWA), Amnesty International USA urges the Senate to support the bill and push for its quick passage, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to women’s right to live free from violence.
“It’s unconscionable that Congress has allowed VAWA to lapse,” said Tarah Demant, Director of Gender, Sexuality and Identity at Amnesty International USA. “The Senate now has the opportunity to rectify that and pass VAWA reauthorization. It’s vital that Congress ensure that survivors of violence have access to the programs and support they need and to which they have a right—including with more inclusive provisions for Native American and Alaska Native women. This legislation is critical to helping stop violence from occurring in the first place and ensuring that women have access to justice and equality before the law when violence does occur. This act must be passed quickly to help ensure women’s efforts to claim their rights.”
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) includes funding for resources like rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and violence prevention and response programs. Because it is a spending bill, VAWA has to be reauthorized every five years—and Congress allowed VAWA to lapse in 2019.
VAWA reauthorization passed the House in March of 2021, and now the Senate has re-introduced a companion VAWA bill. In addition to provisions of VAWA that fund many programs and services, the legislation, if passed by the Senate, would include better protections for Native American and Alaskan Native women, including affirming tribes’ inherent authority to prosecute non-Native rapists and others who abuse Native women on tribal lands.
Contact: Gabby Arias, [email protected]