Underwood-Backed Violence Against Women Act Passes the House

March 18, 2021
Press Release
Legislation includes key provisions championed by Underwood

WASHINGTON– Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization  (H.R. 1620) a bipartisan, robust, long-term VAWA reauthorization in the House.  The legislation would reauthorize funding for five years and make vital improvements to address gaps in current law, based on extensive consultation with victim service providers, law enforcement, and other experts.  

“Nearly one in three women experience domestic violence, and as our nation has faced the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen alarming reports of increased domestic violence,” said Rep. Underwood. “The Violence Against Women Act is critical to addressing our nation’s crisis, providing support for survivors who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, and curbing an epidemic that affects far too many. It’s up to us to ensure every spouse, parent, or child in our community is free to live their life without the threat of domestic violence.” 

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 survivors had access to essential services and to justice.  Every time Congress has reauthorized VAWA, they have strengthened it to improve protections and access to safety and justice for all survivors.  

In the 116th Congress, Underwood strongly supported the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization in the House.  

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization improves the current law, including by:

  • making vital new investments in 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 
  • 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.