Today, US Representative Sue Myrick (NC-09) voted in favor of The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization. The bill reauthorizes VAWA for five years and makes critical reforms to funding streams for grant programs to ensure the effective and responsible use of resources.
The reauthorization passed today:
Increases resources for sexual assault investigations, prosecutions and victim services
Strengthens penalties for sexual assault and abuse, including a mandatory 10 year penalty for forcible rape
Enhances dating violence, sexual assault and stalking prevention programs on college campuses
Requires that 75% of funding under the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act is dedicated to reducing current backlog of rape kit testing
Increases maximum penalties under federal stalking laws by five years
Improves accountability and transparency of grant administration by requiring an annual audit of at least 10% of VAWA grantees
Directs grantees to coordinate grants to reduce duplication and overlap
"The provisions passed by the House today are essential to protect victims and help them recover from the physical and mental effects of abuse," said Rep. Myrick, an original cosponsor of the legislation. "VAWA will help the victims of violence get the care they need and justice they deserve".
Enacted in 1994, VAWA provides federal funding for programs and organizations that help assist women who are victims of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault. It also established a number of grant programs within the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services for state, local and tribal governments and victim service providers.