WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) voted to pass H.R. 1620, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization which would authorize funding for critical grant programs that support victim services for those who experience gender-based violence. It is a vital source of funding for violence prevention and education programs and is critical to helping survivors get access to justice and gain economic independence.

“The Violence Against Women Act has been instrumental in support of women and all survivors who have been subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a sharp increase in domestic violence and other crimes making it even more urgent to pass this bill to ensure that every survivor and victim has the resources they need to lead lives free from violence and fear.

“VAWA reauthorization would increase funding for victims’ services, expand training and education for providers, and strengthen and improve programs to respond to this crisis. In addition to reinstating critical funding that expired in 2018, it will also address challenges identified by survivors and by domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and other organizations that serve survivors. With this vote, we also close the ‘boyfriend loophole’ that currently allows abusive former partners and stalkers with previous convictions to obtain guns. Today, I proudly voted for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to strengthen and support lifesaving protections for women and to respond to our country’s crisis of domestic violence with action.”