VAWA Reauthorization Comparisons

During our AVA Annual Meeting last week, several administrators requested something akin to a side-by-side comparison of the 2021 VAWA Reauthorization (passed in 2022) and the 2013 VAWA Reauthorization.

I will continue to work on this but wanted to share part of a press release in March by the USDOJ Office of Public Affairs.  I have removed most of the individual comments/quotes about the reauthorization, focusing instead on some of the noteworthy changes.  Here’s some of the comments included in that press release:


Justice Department Applauds Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

“One of the many achievements of this bipartisan reauthorization of VAWA is recognizing expanded jurisdiction for American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to protect their communities from domestic and sexual violence, which I highlighted as a priority in my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October,” said Deputy Attorney General Monaco. “It is fitting that this important legislation was passed during Women’s History Month, as it will help combat the epidemic levels of gender-based violence that stand in the way of equality in our society.

I look forward to working with the Office on Violence Against Women to implement and administer new programs and services that support underserved communities,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta.

In addition to recognizing expanded jurisdiction for American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, the VAWA reauthorization addresses numerous Department of Justice priorities, including:

  • Reauthorizing until 2027 VAWA’s vitally important grant programs, which will allow communities to provide critical services to survivors, as well as the right tools and training to make sure that responses to these crimes are survivor-centered and trauma-informed. 
  • Increasing services and support for underserved populations, including culturally specific communities, LGBTQ survivors, individuals with disabilities, immigrant survivors, older adults, and victims in rural communities, among others. 
  • Closing gaps in federal sex crimes statutes and promoting accountability for law enforcement officers, by strengthening the ability to prosecute federal officers who sexually assault or abuse those in their custody, and by appropriately penalizing defendants who commit civil rights offenses involving sexual misconduct, which includes those who commit sexual assault while acting under color of law and those who commit sexual assault as part of a hate crime. 
  • Enhancing efforts to reduce homicides through enforcement of federal and state firearms laws, including by enacting the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Denial Notification Act to help state law enforcement investigate and prosecute unlawful firearms purchasers and amending the Gun Control Act to make clear that the firearm prohibitions apply to domestic violence offenders convicted under municipal ordinances. 
  • Improving access to justice for survivors by expanding grant funding for legal services and authorizing post-conviction legal assistance to survivors in matters arising out of their domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sex trafficking victimization.
I hope this helps highlight a few of the significant changes.  I will continue to work on providing you with the most accurate updates on changes in language in the most recent Reauthorization and the 2013 Reauthorization.
Take care,