WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped pass a long-term reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA). The landmark VAWA legislation was first passed by Congress and signed into law in 1994 and, like previous reauthorizations, this bill makes improvements based on the recommendations of law enforcement, victim service providers and other experts. The bipartisan bill will now head to the Senate.
“As a reporter, I uncovered shocking stories of abuse that made me realize the importance of giving law enforcement and victim advocates the tools they need to keep women and families safe,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Too many Americans, including one-in-three women, experience domestic violence – which is why I voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act today. Our work cannot stop until all women, children and families are safe from violence – and this legislation will strengthen current law and take critical steps to ensure women in Illinois have the resources they need to seek justice, receive care and rebuild their lives.”
This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act and makes vital improvements to address gaps in the current law by:
- Improving the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
- Expanding the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;
- Closing loopholes to help prevent “intimate partner” homicides, by prohibiting persons convicted of stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; and
- Investing in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make our communities safer.