(Washington, D.C.) – Today Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was signed into law on September 13, 1994.

“Ever since the Violence Against Women Act passed twenty-two years ago, women and families across the country have had an extra layer of protection and safety tools they need to get themselves out of dangerous domestic violence situations. This law has been a critical element in our work to protect women, hold abusers accountable, and help train law enforcement and other professionals to understand the unique challenges facing victims and survivors of violence. I am especially proud of my work in the last reauthorization to ensure that women from all backgrounds, including Native American women, are protected by these important VAWA provisions. I credit Deborah Parker of the Tulalip Tribes, who so bravely shared her personal story, with helping me to get this done – and I will make sure voices like hers continue to be heard in Congress.

“It is my hope that as we move forward to fight domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, more women are empowered to come forward - to share their story like Deborah did, and to inspire others to take action to get themselves, or loved ones, out of dangerous situations. I stand proudly with those women who have endured abuse, and will keep fighting to get them the resources they need to get back on their feet.”

Senator Murray also applauded the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) announcement today of a final rule clarifying protections for victims of sexual and other forms of harassment, including domestic violence, under the Fair Housing Act. HUD will issue guidance to help local governments avoid issuing ordinances that violate the Act. Please click here for more information.

In 2013, Senator Murray helped lead efforts in Congress to reauthorize VAWA and expand protections to cover more women in at-risk communities, including tribal women, the LGBT community, immigrants, and women on college campuses. For more information on her work to reauthorize and strengthen VAWA, click here