With Strong Support From Rep. Welch, House Passes New Violence Against Women Act
WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) voted yesterday in favor of H.R. 1585, a long-term renewal of the federal Violence Against Women Act, which was approved on a bipartisan 263-158 vote.
The landmark Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 recommits the federal government to protecting all Americans from violence and abuse and will ensure all victims, survivors and their advocates have the support they need.
“Violence against women should never be tolerated,” said Welch. “This important legislation will ensure that survivors of domestic and sexual violence get the services they need and that their advocates have the resources to do their vital work.”
Between 1994 and 2017, 50 percent of all Vermont homicides were related to domestic violence. The legislation reaffirms protections for every woman and includes much-needed improvements to address gaps in current law that have been identified by victims, survivors and advocates. Specifically, the bill:
- Improves the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
- Expands the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;
- Improves protections for Native women, including by reaffirming tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
- Closes loopholes in current firearm laws in order help prevent “intimate partner” homicides, by prohibiting persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; and
- Invests in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make our communities safer.