For Immediate Release

March 17, 2021

Press Contact

The Filibuster Perpetuates Violence Against Women

House Passes the Reauthorization of VAWA, Another Life-Saving Bill to be Blocked by the Senate Filibuster

ATLANTA, GA — Today, the House passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (VAWA). The bill would fund groups working on sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, improve access to housing for survivors, and eliminate the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ which allows abusive dating partners and stalkers with previous convictions to have access to guns. VAWA now heads to the Senate, where it stands to be blocked by the filibuster despite bipartisan support.

Sybil Miller, Communications Director of SisterLove and Coalition Member of Just Democracy, issued the following statement in response:

“I’m tired of feeling like our bodies and our voices are worthless in the Senate, where an arcane rule blocks our basic right to safety. I’m tired of begging for the bare minimum — for Congress to prioritize justice over flawed, racist institutions like the filibuster. Black and Brown women face disproportionate risk of domestic violence, and Congress has a duty to renew VAWA to protect their constituents. 

President Biden was an original co-sponsor of the first Violence Against Women Act in 1994, and he has made it clear he wants this legislation to move swiftly through the Senate. In order to strengthen the protections our President helped establish, the 117th Congress must eliminate the filibuster to ensure that this life-saving bill, and so many others, can safeguard our communities.”

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