The House just voted to re-authorize the Violence Against WomenAct (VAWA). We need to keep up the momentum and tell the Senate to follow suit.
One of the most important and personal reasons I am proud to be a Democrat is because Democrats are the party that champions women. We as Democrats know that what some may refer to as”women’s issues” affect all of us in this country. Democrats also know that domestic abusers should not have access to firearms. This shouldn’t be remotely controversial. But it’s exactly what’s holding up reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in Congress — and theNational Rifle Association (NRA) is leading the charge. Democrats in the House just voted to reauthorize the Violence Against WomenAct —- but the NRA is counting on their Republican allies in the Senate to stop the bill there. Speak out now and urge the Senate to reauthorize VAWA. Since 1994, VAWA has been the landmark piece of legislation designed to protect all women, no matter their income or ZIP code, against domestic abuse and sexual violence. A key element of VAWA is the “red flag” amendment, which prevents domestic abusers and those convicted of stalking from owning firearms — and for good reason:
•Survivors of domestic abuse are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a gun.
•Domestic violence incidents involving guns are 12 times deadlier than those without.
•Nearly two-thirds of the women whose lives were claimed by gun violence in 2011, were killed by a domestic partner.
We cannot and should not let Republicans and the NRA muddy waters. Domestic abusers should not have access to guns. The truth is Republicans in Congress are using their alliance with the gun lobby to block VAWA—and force women to live in constant fear of extreme violence and even death
Congressman Eliot Engel, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester counties, issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 1585, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act:
“I am pleased to see the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized afterRepublicans let the program lapse last year during the Trump Shutdown. Our Democratic Majority is committed to improving the safety and welfare of all Americans, which is why reauthorizingVAWA was such a high priority. Women and children deserve to be safe in their homes, and we must do everything we can to eliminate the terror of living with domestic violence. Since its initial passage in 1994, VAWA has allowed victims of domestic violence and abuse to seek the justice they deserve. In that time, the rate of domestic violence in the U.S. has fallen more than 50%, but there is still more that needs to be done. The 2019 VAWA reauthorization provides the needed investments in resources for both communities and law enforcement to protect victims and prosecute abusers. The bill expands protections for women, children, LGBTQ individuals, and Native American tribes. It also closes dangerous loopholes, such as the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ to further protect individuals who are abused by their significant other. Put simply, this bill will save lives. I have always been a strong supporter ofVAWA and am proud to have helped pass its reauthorization here again today. Longer processing times mean families struggle to make ends meet, survivors of violence and torture face danger, and U.S. companies fall behind.”