NASW Applauds Congress for Passing the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022
WASHINGTON, DC—The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) celebrates the bipartisan passage and enactment of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S. 3623), as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022. This measure reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) until 2027. The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2022 includes provisions to strengthen rape prevention and education efforts, provides legal funding and increased support for marginalized communities to include LGBTQ survivors, and expands special criminal jurisdiction by tribal courts to cover non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault. NASW has long-supported and advocated for VAWA reauthorization, underscoring the importance of this legislation in our 2021 Blueprint of Federal Social Policy Priorities. The design of this critical piece of legislation was informed by extensive work with survivors, direct service providers, and other stakeholders. Though VAWA’s authorization expired in 2018, reauthorization became even more imperative due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in increased risk for domestic violence and sexual assault. Lockdowns and stay at home orders increased time victims had to spend with potential perpetrators, which in turn resulted in initial increases in call volumes to domestic violence hotlines. Furthermore, the pandemic exacerbated financial entanglement by increasing risk of job loss and unemployment, particularly among people of color, immigrants, and individuals without a college education. In addition to the reauthorization of VAWA, the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package makes substantial investments in other key areas to include: enhancing access to mental health and substance use services across the lifespan and care continuum; preserving access to care via the delivery of telehealth services; investing in a broad array of mental health programs that bolster mental health training; resourcing early intervention and prevention services; delivering care to vulnerable populations; and expanding access to crisis response services. NASW thanks Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for their steadfast leadership on VAWA reauthorization efforts. NASW also thanks all of the victims, survivors, and advocates who reached out to their members of Congress to urge them to support the passage of this bill.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.