Jaime Herrera Beutler, lawmakers call for bipartisan extension of the Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler called for the swift reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is set to expire on September 30, in a letter sent to House leadership last Friday.

Jaime joined 45 of her colleagues asking Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for the swift passage of a bipartisan measure to reauthorize this bill that protects individuals from sexual assault and domestic violence.

“I’m hopeful Congress can work together to quickly reauthorize effective programs like the ones that are funded through the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act,” said Jaime. “This important legislation is used in Southwest Washington to save lives, ensure victims and survivors have access to the resources they need, and prevent future victims of domestic and sexual violence.”

The text of the letter can be found here and below:


September 7, 2018

Dear Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy:

As you know, on September 30th the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is set to expire, leaving us only 7 legislative days to prevent a lapse in authorization. We therefore write to urge you to advance a bipartisan reauthorization of VAWA without delay.

Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This landmark legislation has drastically improved our nation’s response to these crimes and has contributed to the overall declining rates of domestic abuse since its enactment. However, instances of violence are still very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in our country, about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men experience some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime.

Programs authorized and funded under VAWA work to protect girls, boys, men, and women from these terrible crimes. The programs provide funding to ensure safety and support for survivors, increase prevention efforts, expand educational awareness surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, implement training for health professionals and law enforcement, and to coordinate responses across agencies. We have all seen the positive impact of these programs in our districts and have met individuals in our communities who have benefited from the protections this law provides.

This is not a partisan issue. VAWA has been continually reauthorized on a bipartisan basis in Congress. We must act now to maintain and strengthen this critical law.

We urge expeditious reauthorization of VAWA and thank you for your attention to this important issue.