VAWA presser 02-09-2022

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito joins actress Angelina Jolie and a bipartisan group of senators at a press conference to discuss the 2022 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in announcing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expired in 2018.

VAWA was enacted in 1994 to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The law provides federal resources and technical support for programs that assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, including children, teenagers, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and Native Americans.

The 2022 VAWA reauthorization would expand efforts in West Virginia to combat these crimes by aiding domestic violence prevention and support organizations, protecting survivors, and promoting safer communities for women and families.

“Ending domestic violence has long been a priority of mine,” Senator Capito said. “I have consistently supported the Violence Against Women Act, and voted to reauthorize this critical legislation twice as a member of the House of Representatives. In conversations with local leaders in West Virginia, they have conveyed that the funding and support VAWA provides to local organizations working to combat domestic violence in our state is a ‘lifeline’ to the work they do. I’m proud to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle today to introduce legislation that will ensure survivors of domestic violence have the resources they need, and expand efforts to prevent these crimes in the future.”

Key sections of the 2022 VAWA reauthorization legislation include:

  • Improving the Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors (STOP) grant program to support responding law enforcement and require prosecutors to include best practices.

  • Significantly increasing the authorized amount of grant funding to support domestic violence prevention and response organizations that provide victim services.

  • Reauthorizing funding for violence reduction and prevention programs.

  • Directly tackling the shortage of health professionals who perform medical sexual assault forensic examinations.

  • Expanding access to safe housing for victims.

  • Empowering law enforcement by providing additional tools to enhance public safety.

  • Increasing enforcement of cybercrimes and supports victims of “revenge porn.”

  • Increasing authorized funding for responses to child abuse and child sex crimes.

In addition to Senator Capito, the 2022 VAWA Reauthorization is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan).

Outside Support for 2022 VAWA Reauthorization:

“On behalf of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for Senator Capito’s support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization. The future and success of the Violence Against Women Act depends heavily on the leadership generated by those who believe in the right of all persons to live violence free lives. Thank you Senator Capito for taking that leadership role,” the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence said.

“West Virginia’s state sexual assault coalition applauds Senator Capito and all Senate sponsors for their leadership in introducing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Bill. In 1994, VAWA created the core policies and funding for services to all victims of sexual violence, stalking, and domestic violence in West Virginia.  The various programs supported through VAWA have helped campuses address interpersonal violence, expanded rape crisis services to all 55 counties, created foundational sexual violence prevention efforts, provided resources to train law enforcement, judges and prosecution, and addressed the needs of vulnerable populations – including people with disabilities.  We are grateful for Senator Capito’s recognition and foresight in working to extend legislation that addresses these crimes that impact too many West Virginians of all ages,” Nancy Hoffman, State Coordinator, West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, said.

“The Senate introduction of the Violence Against Women Act today is the result of tireless and truly bipartisan efforts by so many. We are grateful for Senator Capito's critical leadership on this vital legislation. When this legislation becomes law, sexual assault survivors from all communities will have more access to healing, justice, housing and healthcare,” Monika Johnson Hostler, President, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, said.

“The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) applauds Senator Capito’s leadership in sponsoring the Violence Against Women Act of 2022. This critical bipartisan consensus bill provides vital resources to serve survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, invests in prevention, and centers the needs of communities, with a heavy emphasis on rural communities,” NCADV’s President/CEO, Ruth M. Glenn, said. “Senator Capito has proven herself time and again to be a champion for survivors and advocates, and NCADV and our members appreciate her leadership!”

A section-by-section summary of the legislation can be found here.

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