In April, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, with strong bipartisan support. Last month, 700 organizations from across the country signed a letter calling on the Senate to pass H.R.1585 or to introduce and pass a substantially similar bill with key enhancements that has the support of the gender-based violence field.
These national, state, regional, tribal, and local organizations re-affirmed that any bill that is introduced in the Senate must:
● make important improvements in prevention programming;
● safeguard important protections that ensure all victims have access to safety and justice;
● offer protections for survivors in federal, public, subsidized, and assisted housing and improve access to housing;
● expand jurisdiction for tribes to enforce justice on their own tribal lands to enhance the safety of tribal communities;
● keep firearms out of the hands of adjudicated abusers and stalkers;
● improve support for survivors who need assistance in rebuilding financially;
● address the needs of underserved communities; and
● improve the healthcare response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
It has been over 200 days since H.R. 1585 passed the House, and it is past time for the Senate to do its job to uphold its commitment to ending gender-based violence and pass a bill with these important protections for survivors.