Recent statements made by politicians have launched a discussion about rape in to the political arena.  With democrats and republicans weighing in on the impact of rape on its victims, the time is here to urge Congressional leaders to reaffirm a national commitment to end violence against women. Victims and the advocates that serve them have been forced to anxiously await word that a bipartisan agreement has been reached, even as our Congressional Leaders went out on summer break.  If Congress does not reauthorize VAWA this fall, we face the reality of beginning all over next year. We must now all join together to urge the House and Senate to resolve their differences, and to ensure that they reach a bipartisan and bicameral agreement on this issue. It is essential that Congressional leaders hear from you that they need to prioritize VAWA upon their return after Labor Day. [click to continue…]

Today the Senate voted 68 to 31 to pass the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). To see how each Senator voted, click here. We are happy to report that both Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer voted in favor of this reauthorization of VAWA. The next step for this bill is moving on to the House of Representatives.

This iteration of the Violence Against Women Act is the “first to include access to law enforcement and services for Native American women, better access for immigrant women who fear deportation if they report violence, and better access for LGBT victims” (Ms. Magazine). Senator Harry Reid released this statement about today’s historic vote:

“More than a third of women in this country have been victims of violence, sexual assault or stalking by a partner. Today’s strong bipartisan vote will give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to prosecute and convict the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, and will help victims get the protection and support they need.

I urge my colleagues in the House to quickly approve the Senate’s bipartisan bill… One case of abuse is one too many, and every day that law enforcement agencies lack all of the tools they need to combat domestic abuse is one day too many.”

We will continue to bring you updates as VAWA progresses in the House of Representatives!

VAWA passes the Senate!