AAUW Public Policy Director Lisa Maatz gives her take on House passage of the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act:
The House of Representatives put the needs of victims nationwide first today through their bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The House’s votes to reject a bad VAWA amendment and to approve the Senate-passed bill send an inclusi...ve VAWA reauthorization to the president’s desk. Today is a great day to be part of an organization whose volunteer Lobby Corps and members across the country have knocked on Congress’ door for almost two years urging a VAWA that would protect all victims and improve campus safety. This has been a long, hard battle, and I am thankful for our advocates and partners’ efforts in this incredible victory.
AAUW fought for this version of VAWA because it will create meaningful change on college campuses, which is essential in light of high-profile cases of rape and sexual assault. We celebrate that colleges and universities will now be required to create prevention programs for students, to have greater transparency in reporting, and to provide better services for victims. Additionally, we should all be proud that the House and Senate acted quickly in the 113th Congress to move a bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. It is clear that Congress listened to their constituents and understood what those of us advocating for an inclusive VAWA know to be true. It is unacceptable to leave some victims out of a law, and especially out of one as important as the Violence Against Women Act. Upon the president’s signature, we will go forward better equipped as a nation to prevent violence and to help victims.