The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is one of pillars of the federal response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. While the four crimes have decreased significantly during the nearly three decades since VAWA first became law, rates of violence remain far too high.
During the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in requests for services across the country. Being forced to isolate with the abuser has increased the danger to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Under federal law, VAWA has to be reauthorized every 5 years, and must be passed by Congress again now. The new reauthorization was sent to the Senate by the House early last year, and awaits action.
Michael Bolton has been a consistent and unrelenting advocate for reauthorization of VAWA, including providing testimony before Congress. As recently as last month, The MBC again urged Congressional action to strengthen and reauthorize VAWA, without delay.
The benefits of this critical legislation include grants to transform law enforcement's and the legal system’s response, funds services to victims including crisis intervention, domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy, shelter services, legal services and advocacy, housing for survivors, community-based interventions, and other important services.
VAWA has strengthened victims’ involvement in the criminal legal system, including their likelihood of reaching out for help. And it has ended impunity for domestic abusers who prey on Native women on tribal lands and protects diverse survivors, including LGBTQ survivors, older adult survivors, survivors with disabilities, immigrant survivors, Native survivors, and others.
More information can be found at the website of The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, at www.4vawa.org.