February 10, 2022

Cortez Masto Calls on Congress to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement in support of the reintroduction of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. This landmark legislation expired more than three years ago, and Cortez Masto has consistently advocated for its reauthorization to help address gender-based violence and provide services and protections for survivors.

The Senator also announced that her bipartisan Fairness for Rape Kit Backlog Survivors Act is included in the reauthorization legislation. This bill requires state programs to allow sexual assault victims to file for compensation without being unfairly penalized for delays due to rape kit backlogs. 

“The bipartisan Violence Against Women Act has done so much to empower survivors over the past 25 years, and it is long past time it was reauthorized,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This legislation includes billions of dollars to reduce and prevent violence and supports law enforcement’s efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes. We must stand together to protect women by finally passing this VAWA reauthorization.”

The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 strengthens rape prevention and education efforts, funds services and protections for young survivors, expands programs to support survivors in rural areas, and helps provide culturally specific services to those in need. This law also provides legal services funding and support for trauma-informed law enforcement responses, including through grants to promote the training of sexual assault forensic examiners.

Additionally, this bill strengthens protections in Native American and Alaska Native communities by restoring tribal jurisdiction over crimes of sexual violence, stalking, and sex trafficking and crimes against children, elders, and law enforcement.