SACRAMENTO – A coalition of 56 state attorneys general including California’s sent a letter to the U.S. Congress Monday calling on lawmakers to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act to help ensure support for programs that aim to combat and prevent domestic and sexual violence.
The programs supported through VAWA include training and assistance to address and reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, along with resources and services to assist survivors and hold offenders accountable.
“The Violence Against Women Act is a critical law that aims to prevent and combat sexual violence. Its important protections and programs should remain in place,” said California Attorney General Becerra.
“At the California Department of Justice, we have a zero tolerance policy for sexual and domestic violence,” he said. “We will continue to do our part to take down sex traffickers, publish resources to support survivors of sexual violence, and prevent and respond to crimes against women. We urge Congress to reauthorize VAWA and ensure that survivors have robust protections and programs to help them remain healthy and safe.”
VAWA primarily addresses certain types of violent crime through grant programs to state, tribal, and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and universities.
The last reauthorization of VAWA in 2013 included critical protections for immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, and Native Americans by ensuring that these populations can access services and protections under the law.
In a letter sent to members of Congress, the bipartisan coalition of attorneys general noted that, over time, VAWA has been amended to allow for improved services, resources, protections, and remedies for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The attorneys general urge Congress to continue these programs, stating that the law has allowed for important partnerships between prosecutors, judges, advocates, community organizations, health care providers and survivors.
A copy of the letter can be found here.