WASHINGTON, D.C. — The omnibus spending legislation that passed the Senate on a 68-31 vote finally reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) —the federal law that commits resources to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence for diverse communities across the country.
NOW has long prioritized ending violence against women as one of our core issues. We know that VAWA is a personal priority for President Biden and Vice President Harris and today we share in a victory that was long overdue. Special thanks go to our congressional champions: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and many more valiant House supporters, plus Senator Diane Feinstein, (D-CA), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Our members have been working tirelessly on this issue since our founding in 1966 and for VAWA since leading the initial fight to pass it in 1994. We have been relentless ever since—and when the U.S. Senate failed to reauthorize VAWA in 2019, NOW members began a pressure campaign that has never stopped.
That commitment and the work done by allies and activists, has strengthened VAWA to expand protections for women from domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to include additional services for tribal members, transgender and underserved communities. More funding will go to rape prevention and education efforts, as well as training for law enforcement and the judicial system.
The final bill is ready for the president’s signature, but that is only the beginning. Congress must follow with a renewed commitment to childcare, healthcare and other vital investments in our lives and future that help survivors and all families to live and thrive. NOW will activate the power of our grassroots and continue advocating until we see these priorities through, just as we did for VAWA.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.