WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in a 244-172 vote, and the bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for approval. Independent Women’s Voice opposes the latest iteration of VAWA because it puts progressive interests over the needs of women and girls.

“Unfortunately, the VAWA bill that passed the House today is too focused on promoting a progressive cultural agenda rather than delivering services and assistance to survivors,” said Andi Bottner, senior adviser to Independent Women’s Voice and former Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). “Programs under the VAWA should protect survivors, not put female safety or dignity at risk. We hope the U.S. Senate will recognize this version of VAWA is simply not good enough.”

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was originally passed and signed into federal law in 1994 with bipartisan support to help victims of violence, including domestic and sexual violence, and to prevent future abuse. Since 1994, VAWA has been reauthorized by Congress three times (2000, 2005, and 2013).

We all want to work to reduce violence against women and were hopeful the needs of survivors would be met, and assistance, protection, and the right of self-defense would be delivered to those facing these crises. Sadly, the House Democrats’ latest VAWA reauthorization bill (H.R. 1620) is more focused upon expanding a progressive political agenda than delivering services to survivors.

An IWV-led coalition letter, signed by Heritage Action for America, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, Gun Owners of America, and National Association for Gun Rights, expressed opposition to H.R. 1620. The letter, sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, cautioned that VAWA programs should seek to protect survivors and promote female safety and dignity, not political agendas.

For more information, contact Meghan Agostinelli at [email protected].



Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.