Congressman Don Young Helps the House Pass Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Containing Crucial Young-Authored Provision
Washington, March 17, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young voted in support of H.R. 1620 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Throughout the drafting process, Congressman Young successfully pushed for the inclusion of his 2019 amendment, which improves upon a pilot program to help end the disproportionately high levels of violence against Indigenous women in Native villages. The House-passed legislation now heads to the United State Senate.
“Every year, women and girls in Alaska and around the country survive rape, domestic abuse, and other forms of tragic violence, and we must never tolerate it,” said Congressman Don Young. “Sadly, this violence is experienced here at home, and it is not always visible in our communities. Alaska often ranks first as the state with the highest rates of women killed by men. Worse yet, Alaska Native women have reported rates of domestic violence up to 10 times higher than in the rest of the United States. For years, VAWA has been an important tool for preventing crimes against women and supporting survivors. Congress has a duty to keep the promises made under VAWA, and it is important that we come together to reauthorize critical programs that benefit women and girls in Alaska.
I am especially pleased that this bill retains my amendment, which first passed during 2019’s VAWA reauthorization, to help combat violence directed at Native American women. By targeting the Alaska Native communities most impacted by violence, my amendment is an initiative truly tailored for Alaska. Indigenous women and girls are a particularly vulnerable population. It is my great hope that my amendment brings justice to those who have committed crimes against Native women and stoked fear in their communities. VAWA is important to me; I have consistently supported the programs and services funded by VAWA every time reauthorization of the law has come up for a vote. We can and must do more to prevent violence against women, support survivors, and bring perpetrators of heinous acts to justice. This is not just for women in our time, but for future generations of women and girls who are simply asking to live in safety and free from fear that their lives could be cut short. For the sake of our nation’s women and girls, we must get reauthorization legislation signed into law. I encourage my Senate colleagues to swiftly move VAWA reauthorization through the legislative process."