Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Signed into Law
Murkowski Attends VAWA Ceremony at White House
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) attended a ceremony at the White House to recognize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2022 being signed into law. Earlier in the day, Senator Murkowski, alongside her co-leads on the bill, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) celebrated its passage by speaking on the Senate floor. [Click here for bill highlights. Click here for video of Murkowski’s speech. Click here for high res photos.]
“Unfortunately, all of us know women who have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Many have survived – but many did not. These women are friends, sisters, mothers, daughters. They have endured physical, mental, and emotional abuse. The impacts of their experiences don’t simply fade away with time. And yet, despite the lingering trauma, on their journeys to recovery and healing, many of these women have developed an inner strength to stand up and advocate,” said Senator Murkowski. “VAWA becoming law is a victory for all women, everywhere – and we mark its passage in memory and honor of both those we have lost and those who have survived. This law will now help to protect women in Alaska and across the country. I thank all who helped us get this bipartisan bill across the finish line.”
(lef pic) Murkowski with Senators Feinstein, Durbin, Collins, and Ernst.
(right pic) Murkowski with Alaskan advocates Tamra Truett Jerue & Michelle Demmert
Senator Murkowski with Senator Brian Schatz, Staff of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and advocate Angelina Jolie.
“The new VAWA law does not modify existing responsibilities or diminish the authority of the state of Alaska in exercising criminal jurisdiction. Rather, it frees up resources so that Tribes can address local issues with local solutions, which can be more timely and impactful for making change and creating safer communities for all Alaskans. We look forward to the opportunities for new collaboration and partnership with our state and federal partners. In addition, we look forward to assessing the needs for shelters within our communities. We are filled with gratitude for the work of Senator Murkowski and her staff for hearing the needs of survivors and working towards meaningful solutions,” said Tamra Truett Jerue, Executive Director, Alaska Native Women's Resource Center.
“The Alaska Native Justice Center stands ready to partner with Alaska Tribes, the state and federal government to carry out the Alaska Pilot project made possible by the VAWA reauthorization. ANJC appreciates the years of effort by dedicated Alaska Native leaders and Senator Murkowski to provide a pathway forward to address Alaska’s urgent public safety needs,” said Gloria O’Neill, President and CEO, Alaska Native Justice Center.
“Thank you Senator Murkowski for championing the Violence Against Women Act, which will now be signed into law. This legislation includes provisions from the Ensuring Forensic Care for All Victims Act (EFCA) and will provide much-needed education regarding trauma-informed care to health care professionals. EFCA was inspired by the Alaska Comprehensive Forensic Training Academy, which I started because I believe strongly that all victims of violence deserve evaluation and care from forensically trained health care providers. This training is especially important in Alaska given our epidemic of interpersonal violence,” said Angelia Trujillo DNP, WHNP-BC, Founder of Alaska Comprehensive Forensic Training Academy.
“The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is integral to supporting our work on behalf of those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence. The expansion of resources to address these issues will allow Alaskans to hold those doing harm accountable through tribal and restorative practices; enhance education of our youth through the addition of Bree’s Law named after a young Alaskan woman murdered by her boyfriend; and add in services for survivors to assist in their journey to repair the harm they have endured. We are thankful for the bipartisan efforts to renew the national commitment to provide much-needed prevention and survivor resources as we continue to work towards the elimination of domestic and sexual violence,” said Brenda Stanfill, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
“Today we are overjoyed the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization (VAWA), which includes Bree’s Law, will be signed into federal law. As parents who have experienced the devastation of losing our daughter, Bree Moore, to dating violence, we know prevention is the key to keeping future generations safe from interpersonal violence. This Bree's Law legislation will expand teen dating violence awareness and prevention education, first developed and implemented in Alaska, and make it available to all teens throughout the United States. We are incredibly thankful to Senator Lisa Murkowski and her staff for their tenacity, passion, and commitment to the passage of Bree's Law and VAWA. We also want to thank President Biden for making it a top priority of his administration to end violence against women. We are truly indebted to everyone who has helped make this law possible,” said Bree Moore’s parents, Butch and Cindy Moore.
Background: On February 9, 2022 Senators Murkowski, Ernst, Durbin and Feinstein introduced the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 which would reauthorize VAWA through 2027, preserves advancements made in previous reauthorizations, and includes a number of additional improvements to the current law.