With a resounding vote of 286-138, the House passed a bipartisan, inclusive reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. This is a major victory for all women, including women in the LGBT community, Native American women, women on college campuses and immigrant women. NOW thanks the steadfast champions of VAWA in both the House and the Senate as well as the activists around the country who refused to give up on the countless women who will now be protected in this bill.
We should not have had to work so hard and for so long to get such a bill passed. Since its initial authorization in 1994, VAWA has rightly enjoyed bipartisan support — until the last Congress, which failed to reauthorize VAWA for the first time in the bill’s history. The House GOP leadership was responsible for this delay, introducing a regressive version of the bill in 2012 and again this year. But our friends on Capitol Hill would not back down, and we salute their courage and support.
While we celebrate today’s victory, we must begin immediately on the hard work of ensuring that VAWA’s authorized programs are fully funded. NOW calls on Congress to appropriate every last dollar authorized in this bill. Women’s lives are on the line. How could we settle for anything less?