Rep. Adriano Espaillat Calls for Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

September 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) released the following statement in support of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark bill that ushered in transformative progress to protect all Americans from violence and abuse, and continues to provide essential support to victims, survivors and communities to ensure they have the legal tools and resources necessary to seek justice and receive care. 

Yet, the refusal of House Republicans to pass a long-term VAWA reauthorization represents a blatant neglect of Congress’ duty to ensure that every person, in every part of our society, can live free from violence and does not have to face their abuser alone.

“House Republicans are running from the important issues at hand by not acting on long-term reauthorization of VAWA, which would ensure crucial improvements in the law to better help survivors of domestic violence and other crimes” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).

“Because of VAWA, domestic violence survivors are able to obtain protective orders from their abusers at designated courthouses and stand up against their abuser.  I am proud to support my colleague, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) and House Democrats, to call for the reauthorization of VAWA for another five years and to safeguard vital protections, particularly for Native American, immigrant and LGBTQ communities,” he concluded.

“The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is landmark legislation which—through policy reforms, interstate cooperation and grant allocation—has been pivotal in providing a national response to protecting half of the population,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). “This bill represents the good that can come when courageous people with a story to tell come forward with the belief that through their pain, the lives of others can be helped.  The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018 improves current law in several important respects and takes a holistic approach to the goal of eliminating the harm faced by these women, and makes the ecosystem of available help larger, and more beneficial to victims of this scourge.”

Yesterday marked the 19th anniversary of the death of Washington Heights bride-to-be Gladys Ricart, a victim of domestic violence who lost her life tragically on her wedding day on September 26, 1999.  Following her death, an annual Brides March has been held in Gladys’ honor and in support of victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. VAWA must be restored and our work must continue to ensure all women and survivors of domestic abuse feel safe, their voices are heard, and their lives are protected.

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business.  He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.  Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at