Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and a group of Republican lawmakers sent a letter urging House leadership to bring a bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the House floor. The current law is set to expire on September 30th.

“The Violence Against Women Act is essential to standing up to domestic violence,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “VAWA provides lifesaving services to communities across the country and it’s critical that Congress act quickly to reauthorize it. This is a bipartisan issue that affects every district in the country and we must act now to avoid any lapse in these critical services.”

The letter is signed by the following members: John Katko (R-N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), John Faso (R-N.Y.), Peter T. King (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Steve Knight (R-Calif.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Barbara Comstock (R-Vir.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Daniel Donovan (R-N.Y.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Ryan Costello (R-Penn.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), David McKinley (W.V.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Jennifer Gonzalez Colon (R-P.R.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Scott Taylor (R-Vir.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), David Young (R-Iowa), Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Greg Walden (R-Ore.). 

Text of the letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy:

Dear Speaker Ryan:

As you know, on September 30th the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is set to expire, leaving us only seven legislative days to prevent a lapse in authorization. We therefore write to urge you to advance a bipartisan reauthorization of VAWA without delay.

Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This landmark legislation has drastically improved our nation’s response to these crimes and has contributed to the overall declining rates of domestic abuse since its enactment. However, instances of violence are still very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in our country, about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men experience some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime.

Programs authorized and funded under VAWA work to protect girls, boys, men, and women from these terrible crimes. The programs provide funding to ensure safety and support for survivors, increase prevention efforts, expand educational awareness surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, implement training for health professionals and law enforcement, and to coordinate responses across agencies. We have all seen the positive impact of these programs in our districts and have met individuals in our communities who have benefited from the protections this law provides.

This is not a partisan issue. VAWA has been continually reauthorized on a bipartisan basis in Congress. We must act now to maintain and strengthen this critical law.

We urge expeditious reauthorization of VAWA and thank you for your attention to this important issue.