September 25, 2018
Press Release

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Standing today at Vera House, Inc., U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) and Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman called on Congress to pass a bipartisan, long-term reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  Rep. Katko and Bregman were joined by survivors in urging both sides of the aisle to prioritize a bipartisan reauthorization.

Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of American who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.  The measure is currently set to expire on September 30th. 

Earlier this month, Rep. Katko led efforts calling on Republican leaders to work across the aisle to put forth a long-term, bipartisan VAWA reauthorization measure.  However, since that time, while a short-term proposal has been offered, there is no indication that a long-term reauthorization measure will come to the floor.

“The Violence Against Women Act is set to expire at the end of this week, and Congress has still not acted on a bipartisan reauthorization measure.  We cannot continue to kick the can down the road with a short-term extension,” said Congressman Katko.  “Our community -- and organizations like Vera House -- deserves a strengthened, comprehensive and reliable reauthorization.  We must preserve and protect federal protections against domestic and sexual violence.”

Randi Bregman, Executive Director of Vera House, stated “As our national attention is focused this week on the voices of survivors, there could be no better time to ensure passage of a bipartisan comprehensive, long-term reauthorization of VAWA.  In our own community, VAWA funds have been essential for us to enhance services for victims of domestic and sexual violence who are Deaf, refugees and immigrants, and victims of abuse in later life.  VAWA funds have also helped us engage men and youth in conversations about preventing violence before it occurs.  It is our fervent hope that both parties in Congress will act immediately to pass a bill and thereby reassure victims and survivors across the nation that they truly matter.”