UPDATED 7:05 PM PT – Wednesday, March 17, 2021
With bipartisan support, the House approved a 1994 landmark law aimed at protecting women against domestic and sexual violence. On Wednesday, the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized in a 244-to-172 vote.
244-172: House votes to reauthorize and update the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expired two years ago. 29 Republicans joined all Democrats in voting Yes. Bill now heads to the Senate. pic.twitter.com/bxW2Jlxgjl
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) March 17, 2021
The bill, which expired two years ago due to a government shutdown, would expand victims’ services as well as reauthorize grant programs to respond to these types of crimes. The measure would also close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to prevent people convicted of domestic violence or abuse from owning a gun.
Each year, millions suffer domestic abuse in silence because they’re financially dependent on their partners. I’m proud my measure to integrate economic abuse as a form of domestic violence is included in the Violence Against Women Act, which the House voted to renew today. #VAWA
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) March 17, 2021
“87,000 women, according to the UN, are killed every year,” Rep. Debbie Dingell (d-Mich.) stated. “50,000 of them are killed by an intimate partner or spouse. That means 137 women die every day by a family member.”
Despite passing in the House, the measure may hit a roadblock in the evenly divided Senate.