United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
We, the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (“NTF”) and our allies, urge you to move quickly and decisively to pass H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which passed the House of Representatives on April 4, 2019 with strong bipartisan support. The NTF is a national collaboration comprising a large and diverse group of national, tribal, state, territorial, and local organizations, advocates, and individuals that focuses on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Signatories to this letter include both organizations affiliated with the NTF and allied organizations that support VAWA reauthorization. H.R.1585 makes modest yet vital updates to the existing Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) that are based on the needs identified by direct service providers who work daily with victims and survivors. We urge you to act now on Congress's shared commitment to passing the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.
H.R. 1585 makes important investments in prevention, a priority identified by people who work with victims and survivors daily. Providing resources to implement evidence-based prevention programming makes our communities safer and, ultimately, saves taxpayer money. The bill also safeguards important protections that ensure all victims and survivors have access to safety and justice and provides a mechanism to hold predators who prey on Native women accountable. Moreover, the bill offers protections for survivors in federal public, subsidized, and assisted housing; keeps firearms out of the hands of adjudicated abusers and stalkers; supports victims and survivors who need assistance rebuilding financially; addresses the needs of underserved communities; and improves the healthcare response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
Now is not the time to maintain the status quo, nor is it acceptable to turn back the clock and reduce access to safety and justice for victims and survivors. Survivors and communities have very real, identified needs. H.R.1585 responds to these needs, preventing future violence, serving victims, and holding offenders accountable. In short, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 is a narrow bill with a wide impact. We hope that all Senators, on a bipartisan basis, will recognize the importance of this legislation to their constituents and pass H.R.1585 or introduce and pass a substantially similar bill that has the support of the gender-based violence field. Thank you, again, for being a champion for victims and survivors and safe communities.
The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence & Allied Organizations