VAWA Reauthorization Fails. What Now?

written by Sam Batko
January 14, 2013

Last year, the 112th Congress failed to pass a bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) due to opposition among some House Republicans against provisions that the Senate Democratic leadership insisted be included (provisions for LGBTQ, Native American, and immigrant domestic violence survivors). In light of this failure, there have been some questions as to what the impact will be on programs. 

Rest assured, programs and services will not close or cease to exist because VAWA reauthorization did not pass. Reauthorization does not impact the current funding for these programs. Still, the continuing budget discussions happening in Congress, as well as state and local budget shortfalls do threaten these and other programs that serve survivors. Both domestic violence agencies and homeless service agencies should continue to contact their Congresspersons to educate them about the important role their programs play in helping survivors, families, and other persons in need.

Additionally, domestic violence agencies should be especially attuned to the upcoming changes in their communities because of the implementation of the HEARTH Act. Communities will be realigning resources, developing coordinated entry systems, and measuring community wide outcomes.

The Alliance is participating in a webinar on January 29th that will detail some of the coming changes for domestic violence agencies and discuss what those changes will mean for survivors and how they interact with the homelessness assistance system. You can register for the webinar here.

The webinar will be a great opportunity for domestic violence agencies to learn about what the implementation of HEARTH will mean for them and how to work closely with their Continuum of Care (CoC) to ensure that there are adequate provisions for survivors as these changes move forward.