March 16, 2022

Cortez Masto: Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Will Provide Vital Support for Survivors

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement celebrating the reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law by President Biden. Senator Cortez Masto was a cosponsor and vocal supporter of this landmark legislation to help address gender-based violence and provide services and protections for survivors. The bill also includes Cortez Masto’s bipartisan Fairness for Rape Kit Backlog Survivors Act to require state programs to allow sexual assault victims to file for compensation without being unfairly penalized for delays due to rape kit backlogs. 

“The Violence Against Women Act is a powerful piece of bipartisan legislation that has made an enormous difference for women and families across the country,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ll always stand up for survivors, and I’m thrilled that we were able to come together to reauthorize funding that helps reduce and prevent violence, supports law enforcement’s efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes, and helps victims continue to heal.”

The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 will strengthen rape prevention and education efforts, fund services and protections for young survivors, expand programs to support survivors in rural areas, and help provide culturally-specific services to those who need them. 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.