Senators reach deal on framework for reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) leaves the weekly Senate Democratic policy luncheon on June 15.
Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators announced on Thursday that they had reached a deal on a framework to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

“After nearly three years of negotiations, we have reached an agreement on a bipartisan framework to strengthen, modernize and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. This important legislation will help prevent violence, support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable for their violent actions,” Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a joint statement.

The four senators said they were “committed to introducing” the reauthorization in January.

“Every day that goes by without action puts lives at risk, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that this framework becomes law as soon as possible,” they said. 

Among the moves that the reauthorization includes are measures improving the response to sexual violence, supporting funding for legal services and trauma-informed law enforcement responses, boosting efforts around rape prevention and education and widening survivors’ access to emergency housing. 

The House passed a reauthorization of VAWA in March, but it has since languished in the Senate. 

Actress Angelina Jolie had met with Democrats and Republicans this week on Capitol Hill to push for a vote on the legislation.

“This is a law that touches everyone’s lives and provides essential protections for abuse survivors,” Jolie said in a statement to The Hill.

Online dating services including OkCupid, Tinder and Match initiated a campaign last month urging their users to ask senators to renew the legislation.

“Violence against women is a major public health issue and violation of human rights that needs to be acknowledged and must be urgently addressed if we truly want a more equitable society,” the groups wrote in a statement.

Tags Angelina Jolie Dianne Feinstein Dick Durbin Joni Ernst Lisa Murkowski VAWA Violence Against Women Act

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