Maloney Highlights Needs to Pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release
Urges all Members to vote yes on the House floor

WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of today’s vote on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) spoke on the House floor to urge all her colleagues to join her in voting yes on this critical piece of legislation. Congresswoman Maloney is the lead House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment and the author of the Debbie Smith Act and its subsequent reauthorizations. The Debbie Smith Act, which increases funding for law enforcement to process DNA rape kits, has been called ‘the most important anti-rape legislation in history.’


You can watch the Congresswoman’s floor speech and read the transcript below.


“Madam Speaker, today we will vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, one of the most important bills in history to protect women and girls.


This photograph is of then Senator Joe Biden, myself, and other women leaders when we introduced this important bill in 1994. It’s still important, we need to reauthorize it. There’s no doubt he will sign it into law.


“We live in a world where 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence.


“Reauthorizing VAWA is about creating a future where all those experiencing dating and gender-based violence feel supported to seek help and where survivors are given the tools they need to heal.


“It’s about ensuring a better, safer future for the next generation.


“I urge a yes vote by all of my colleagues and I yield back.”




The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 improves current law in several important respects:

  • Enhances and expands victim services;
  • Reauthorizes grant programs to improve the criminal justice response to gender-based violence and expands allowable uses;
  • Invests in prevention;
  • Improves access to housing for victims and survivors;
  • Helps survivors gain and maintain economic independence;
  • Ends impunity for non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault, child abuse co-occurring with domestic violence, stalking, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law enforcement officers on tribal lands;
  • Supports Communities of Color;
  • Protects victims of dating violence from firearm homicide;
  • Maintains existing protections for all survivors; and
  • Improves the healthcare system’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.


The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2021 is supported by the National Task Force To End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF), a large and diverse group of national, tribal, state, territorial, and local organizations, advocates, and individuals that focus on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This coalition includes such groups as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, Break the Cycle, Legal Momentum, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Organization for Women, MomsRising, Feminist Majority,  YWCA USA, AAUW, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, National Association of Hispanic Organizations, AFL-CIO, UAW, NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, National Council of Churches, and National Congress of American Indians.