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Foster Votes to Pass Violence Against Women Act

Mar 18, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Bill Foster voted to pass H.R. 1620, a bipartisan, long-term Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. The landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 ushered in transformative progress by calling for the protection of all Americans from violence and abuse, and working to ensure all victims and survivors have the support they need. This critical reauthorization will safeguard and further strengthen these life-saving protections for women throughout Illinois and across the country.

“For decades, the Violence Against Women Act has stood as a pillar of our mission to fight against domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Foster. “Yet, as the coronavirus crisis has made clear, too many Americans in too many places continue to suffer the pain and fear of abuse in their homes and in their communities. I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this life-saving, bipartisan VAWA reauthorization to ensure that every woman in Illinois and in every community is able to live free from violence and fear.”

This VAWA reauthorization builds upon the progress forged over the two-and-a-half decades since this legislation was first passed: since then, the rate of domestic violence in America has fallen by half. But more protections are needed, especially as 1 in 3 women still experience domestic violence, and as the coronavirus crisis has forced many women to quarantine in unsafe domestic situations.

This latest bipartisan long-term reauthorization improves the current law, including by:

  • Making vital new investments in violence prevention;
  • Strengthening essential protections for the most vulnerable, including immigrant, LGBTQ and Native American women and specifically supporting communities of color in a culturally-sensitive way;
  • Improving services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
  • Making improvements in the criminal justice response to gender-based violence and improving the health care system’s response to domestic violence;
  • Helping stop abusers and stalkers from obtaining firearms; and
  • Expanding protections for victims’ and survivors’ financial security, including housing protections and anti-discrimination protections in the workplace.

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