March 18, 2019

Duckworth Hosts Roundtable with Advocates in Chicago to Discuss Importance of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization

Senator, advocates also called on Congress to immediately reauthorize the vital legislation


[CHICAGO, IL] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today hosted a roundtable to listen to survivors of domestic violence and advocates working to support victims at organizations such as Mujeres Latinas en Accion, KAN-WIN and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides resources to programs that prevent violence against women or provide services for victims of violence. The program’s reauthorization expired on September 30th of last year and was temporarily extended multiple times before running out again on February 15th of this year. The expiration of the critical legislation is not currently impacting funding for VAWA programs, but these resources could be in danger if Congress fails to pass an extension in the coming months. Photos of the event are available here.

“I was honored to listen to these advocates and survivors’ stories and thank them for their courageous work on this issue,” Duckworth said. “I’ll continue working as hard as I can to make sure Congress authorizes and expands VAWA so that every survivor in Illinois and across our nation has access to the best services possible, including safe housing, legal support and a confidential hotline.”

Duckworth has cosponsored the Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act to incentivize states to continue to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and abuse who are at risk of gun violence, as well as the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, which restricts individuals under a temporary restraining order from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Duckworth voted for the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which was signed into law and clarifies and strengthens criminal and civil remedies for victims of sex trafficking. Duckworth also met with the mother of slain Chicago child sex trafficking victim Desiree Robinson in September of 2017 before she testified in support of the SESTA Act at a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing.