ACLU Comment on the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

March 11, 2022 11:45 am

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WASHINGTON — Following passage in the House, the Senate yesterday voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022. The legislation now heads to President Biden for his signature.

Sandra Park, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project, had the following reaction:

“For survivors of domestic violence, secure housing is key to leading lives of dignity. The Violence Against Women Act includes vital protections for millions of tenants who live in federally-subsidized housing, such as prohibiting retaliation for exercising one’s rights.

“Significantly, this reauthorization of VAWA guarantees the right to report emergencies. Across the country, thousands of cities have adopted laws and programs that compel landlords to evict families when a tenant calls 911, or if criminal activity takes place in their home. These laws disproportionately threaten the housing of survivors of domestic violence and force them to stay silent about abuse. In too many cities, these laws have particularly targeted Black survivors and people with disabilities.

“For a decade, the ACLU and its partners have fought alongside survivors in court and engaged in advocacy at the state and local levels to stop these discriminatory practices. The enactment of federal protections will ensure that all residents can seek emergency assistance without fear of losing their homes.”

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