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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Sarbanes Votes to Advance the Equal Rights Amendment and Strengthen the Violence Against Women Act

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Bipartisan Bills Would Expand Constitutional Protections for Women, Crack Down on Domestic Violence and Abuse, Curb Sexual Assault and Increase Support Services for Survivors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass two bipartisan bills on the occasion of Women’s History Month, including a measure to advance the Equal Rights Amendment (H.J. Res. 17) and an effort to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 1620).

“Today, we took another step forward in the long march for women’s rights and equal treatment in America,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who co-sponsored both measures. “By enshrining the Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution, we can end discrimination based on sex, deliver fair and impartial justice under the law and build a more perfect union for all Americans.”

Congressman Sarbanes continued: “My colleagues and I also acted in concerted, bipartisan fashion to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which will equip our country with the tools and resources to stamp out domestic violence and sexual abuse in every community and help victims and survivors live safe, healthy and financially secure lives.”

The resolution to advance the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would eliminate an arbitrary barrier that has blocked the ratification of the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Once ratified, the ERA would prevent discrimination on the basis of sex and significantly strengthen legal protections for women. See here for more information about the ERA resolution.

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would expand protections against domestic violence and sexual assault. It would also extend critical support services to victims and survivors across the country. Key elements of the bill include:

  • Investing in prevention programs that help curb domestic violence and sexual assault;
  • Improving services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
  • Strengthening legal protections for immigrant, LGBTQ and Native American women;
  • Providing direct support and resources to communities of color;
  • Helping law enforcement better protect communities and stopping abusers and stalkers from obtaining firearms;
  • Enhancing the health care system’s ability to effectively respond to sexual assault and domestic violence; and
  • Increasing financial security for victims and survivors by expanding housing support and bolstering anti-discrimination protections in the workplace.
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See here for additional information about the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.

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