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On 26th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, Dingell Calls for Senate Action to Reauthorize Legislation

In Metro Detroit, calls to domestic violence hotlines are up 25%

Washington, September 13, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) marked the 26th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urgently pass the House-passed reauthorization.

“Twenty-six years ago we recognized that no woman, no child and no family should fear for their life because of domestic violence,” said Dingell. “When I was a child, I remember the fear, the seeking help and no one responding because you didn’t acknowledge the problem or accept the reality of what happened behind closed doors. Since those days and the passage of VAWA, much has changed. We’ve broken down stigmas, survivors have been empowered to tell their stories, and communities have built up programs to help those in need. But all that progress can be washed away without further action.

Dingell continued, “As a result of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, we’ve seen a drastic increase in domestic violence. Thousands of Americans are forced to stay inside with their abuser, not knowing where to turn. Without updates or support from critical programs in VAWA, we are moving backwards and leaving thousands of Americans in the dark. VAWA has always been a bipartisan effort. The House passed critical updates to VAWA more than a year ago. Senate Majority Leader McConnell must schedule a vote now.”

Passed as part of the 1994 Crime Bill, VAWA is landmark legislation responding to our nation’s crisis of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

In April of 2019, the House passed legislation to reauthorize VAWA and provide long-term updates that reaffirms protections for all women, men and children, and includes vital improvements to address gaps in current law that have been identified by victims, survivors and advocates to keep our communities safe.

In the House-passed Heroes Act, Dingell co-led a provision to include increased funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs including transitional housing assistance, legal assistance for victims, and support for families in the justice system. 

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