Rep. Watson Coleman Votes to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman voted to pass H.R. 1620, a bipartisan, long-term Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. The landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 ushered in transformative progress by calling for the protection of all Americans from violence and abuse, and working to ensure all victims and survivors have the support they need. This critical reauthorization will safeguard and further strengthen these life-saving protections for women throughout New Jersey and across the country.
"The House has finally renewed the Violence Against Women Act and not a moment too soon," said Watson Coleman. "Recent study’s have shown an increase in violence perpetrated against women by intimate partners. Worldwide, nearly one in four women above the age of 15 experienced violence by an intimate partner and a third of women will experience some form of sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Too many Americans in too many places continue to suffer the pain and fear of abuse in their homes and in their communities. Today, I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this life-saving VAWA reauthorization to ensure that every women in New Jersey and in every community is able to live free from violence and fear.”
This VAWA reauthorization builds upon the progress forged over the two-and-a-half decades since this legislation was first passed: since then, the rate of domestic violence in America has fallen by half. But more protections are needed, especially as 1 in 3 women still experience domestic violence, and as the coronavirus crisis has forced many women to quarantine in unsafe domestic situations.
This latest robust and bipartisan long-term reauthorization improves the current law, including by:
- Making vital new investments in violence prevention;
- Strengthening essential protections for the most vulnerable, including immigrant, LGBTQ and Native American women and specifically supporting communities of color in a culturally-sensitive way;
- Improving services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
- Making improvements in the criminal justice response to gender-based violence and improving the health care system’s response to domestic violence;
- Increases investments in services for Communities of Color;
- Helping stop abusers and stalkers from obtaining firearms; and
- Expanding protections for victims’ and survivors’ financial security, including housing protections and anti-discrimination protections in the workplace.
“This is a scourge on our society and action must be taken," said Watson Coleman. "The Violence Against Women Act introduces new resources for combating this violence including increased investment in services for Communities of Color. I encourage the Senate to take up this bill without delay and deliver it to President Biden’s desk.”