WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) yesterday joined Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to introduce the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize VAWA through 2027, preserve advancements made in previous reauthorizations, and include a number of additional improvements to the current law.
“The Violence Against Women Act funds critical programs for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and it has made a difference in the lives of thousands since its passage nearly 30 years ago,” said Sen. Cornyn. “While not perfect, this compromise will extend critical programs for survivors that were left lapsed for far too long. I want to commend Senators Ernst and Murkowski for their tireless work on behalf of victims nationwide to get us to this point.”
The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Patty Murray (D-WA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act would:
- Provide services, protection and justice for young victims of violence, including extending the Rape Prevention and Education grant program and improving grants focused on prevention education for students in institutions of higher education.
- Enhance judicial and law enforcement tools through reauthorization of the Justice Department’s STOP Violence Against Women Formula Program, known as the STOP Program, and expansion of the STOP Program to better support survivors who are 50 years of age or older and survivors with disabilities.
- Reauthorize and update the SMART Prevention Program to reduce dating violence, help children who have been exposed to domestic violence, and engage men in preventing violence.
- Provide economic security assistance for survivors by reauthorizing the National Resource Center on Workplace Response and expand the program to support sexual harassment victims and ensure resources are available to private-sector businesses with fewer than 20 employees in addition to public-sector entities.
- Improve the medical response to instances of domestic violence and sexual assault, including expanding access to medical forensic examinations after a sexual assault for survivors who live in rural communities.