NCEDSV PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE

By Serena Evans, NCEDSV

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021
It has been over six months since the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2021. Our national partners at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV), and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF) have been hard at work pressuring the Senate to introduce and pass a bipartisan VAWA bill built on H.R. 1620.
As of December 10, 2021 a VAWA bill draft is circulating in the Senate and Advocates and Hill staff are still working on negotiations and final language. The NTF and bill sponsors feel hopeful that the bill be officially introduced by the end of Janaury 2022. While final language is not finalized, the draft currently contains many of the top priorities, including:

  • Significant authorization increases for the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) and the Rape Prevention and Education Program (RPE).
  • Language requiring meaningful involvement of at least 15% of RPE funds for sexual assault coalitions.
  • Language explicitly allowing direct payments to survivors in SASP.
  • Several new programs to address the need for more access to sexual assault forensic exams.
  • A new LGBT grant program at OVW.
  • Includes robust language expanding tribal sovereignty over non-Indian offenders of sexual assault and other crimes – toward the goal of ending impunity of non-native perpetrators of violence against native survivors.
  • ¬†Language creating a campus sexual assault task force and requiring climate surveys.
  • Increases culturally specific programs and services substantially.
  • Increases authorization of legal assistance for victims and creates a new restorative practices pilot project at OVW.

So far, the Senate language does not include provisions around immigration or unemployment for survivors, which are disappointments, but advocates and our national partners remain hopeful. They feel that this bill is heading in the right direction. VAWA reauthorization has been an intense process, and it is encouraging to see this potential for forward progress.

You can find a framework for the bill here: Feinstein, Ernst, Durbin, Murkowski Agree on Bipartisan Framework to Modernize, Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act – Press Releases – United States Senator for California (senate.gov).

Federal Appropriations for Fiscal Year 22 Budget
On December 3rd, President Biden signed H.R. 6119, a new Continuing Resolution (C.R.) for F.Y. 2021. The new C.R. keeps the government open until Friday, February 12, 2022, and supports all federal programs running at F.Y. 2021 funding levels. While it is great that a government shutdown was avoided, service providers and victim-survivor programs are waiting for F.Y. 22 appropriations to be finalized to reflect survivors’ urgent and increased needs. NCEDSV is working with our national partners to urge Congress to reach F.Y. 22 appropriation negotiations as soon as possible.

Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act (FVPSA)
In October, H.R. 2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act (FVPSA) passed the House with bipartisan support. We are still waiting for the Senate to pass the companion bill, S. 1275. NCEDSV supports our national partners as they push for the Senate to hear and pass this crucial legislation.

To learn more about NCEDSV’s public policy efforts and advocacy involvement, click here.

You can read about 2021 Nevada Legislative Session wins by clicking here.

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