Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted on April 4 to pass H.R. 1585 a bipartisan, comprehensive, long-term Violence Against Women Act reauthorization.

The landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 ushered in transformative progress by calling for the protection of all Americans from violence and abuse, as well as working to ensure all victims and survivors have the support they need. This critical reauthorization, which passed the House by a vote of 262-158, will safeguard and further build on these life-saving protections for women throughout Delaware and across the country.

“It was an honor to cast an ‘aye’ vote and help pass the critically important Violence Against Women Act. In doing so, Democrats and Republicans stood together to protect the millions of victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Blunt Rochester. “Yet, far too many people, including one in three women, still experience domestic violence. Our work will never be done until every woman, in every part of our society, can live free from violence and fear. By passing the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization with a bipartisan vote, we are prioritizing the safety and well-being of all women in Delaware and throughout the country and ensuring that every community has the resources needed to pursue justice, provide care and help rebuild victims’ lives.”

This reauthorization fulfills Congress’s responsibility to protect all Americans by reaffirming protections for every woman, as well as including vital improvements to address gaps in current law that have been identified by victims, survivors and advocates. This bipartisan bill:

— Improves the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;

— Expands the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;

— Improves protections for Native America women by reaffirming tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;

— Closes loopholes in current firearm laws in order to help prevent “intimate partner” homicides, by prohibiting persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; and

— Invests in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make our communities safer.