Shaheen Calls for Swift Senate Vote on House-Approved VAWA Reauthorization Bill

March 18, 2021

Shaheen is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and has increased funding for VAWA programs to record levels for four years in a row.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expired two years ago. The House passed the bill by a vote of 244 to 172, with bipartisan support, on the landmark legislation that enshrines protections for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Shaheen is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and has increased funding for VAWA programs to record levels for four years in a row.

“Survivors of domestic and sexual violence are facing isolation and have become even more vulnerable during this pandemic, and New Hampshire’s crisis centers are seeing an increase in demand for services and emergency shelter. It’s unconscionable that Congress allowed VAWA to expire in the first place -- action is needed now more than ever. We have a moral imperative to ensure survivors have the resources they need to find safety and recover from abuse,” said Shaheen. “Strengthening programs under VAWA has always been a top priority of mine, and I’m committed to working across the aisle and with the Biden administration to push this bill across the finish line.”

Throughout the pandemic, Senator Shaheen has worked to provide more resources and services to domestic violence survivors nationwide. She helped lead calls to Congressional leadership to include additional funding to support the victims of child abuse, domestic violence and dating violence in COVID-19 response legislation. Earlier this month, Shaheen helped introduce legislation with Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) that would close what is referred to as the “boyfriend loophole” to prevent people who have abused dating partners from buying or owning firearms and stop convicted stalkers from possessing guns. She also recently helped introduce the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, which is narrowly crafted to close loopholes that allow domestic abusers to legally obtain weapons.

Shaheen is a leader in Congress on efforts to combat domestic and sexual violence, and to bolster resources to help survivors stay safe, recover and seek justice. Last year, she visited the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) in Concord where she met with NHCADSV’s leadership and representatives from crisis centers to hear more about the impact COVID-19 has had on survivors and the state’s crisis centers.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to establish basic rights and protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her bill, the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, was signed into law in 2016 and created the first federally codified rights specifically for sexual assault survivors and for the first time allowed survivors the opportunity to enforce those rights in federal court. Last year, Shaheen introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Survivors’ Bill of Rights in the States Act to build on the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act by incentivizing states to pass legislation that guarantees the survivors rights included in the federal legislation. Senator Shaheen – through her leadership on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the OVW – once again successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2021 government funding

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