YWomen Vote and What VAWA Means for Survivors

Categories: Advocacy, Blog

The following blog post was contributed by Advocacy and Development Intern Frances C.

“Today we know that one in three women will experience domestic violence and more than three women are murdered by their partners each day.” 

These are terrifying odds.  

Domestic violence is an issue which affects people from all backgrounds, ages, races, and income levels. It affects everyone in the home, even if they are not the direct target of the violence. It has no regard for any of these, plaguing women of color and other marginalized communities especially. The bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2021 provides and maintains safety protections for all survivors and makes vital improvements to provide critical resources to support all survivors of domestic violence. This lifesaving legislation would change many people’s lives for the better, including those not directly affected by domestic violence, such as children and other family members and friends of domestic violence survivors.  

This is reflected in the findings of the YWomenVote2022 survey, which the YWCA conducted together with Finn Partners in December 2021 and January 2022. The study was conducted with 1,438 women nationwide, including oversamples of Black women, Hispanic/Latinx women, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, and American Indian and Alaska Native women (AI/AN), to understand their concerns and priorities at the top of Congress’ 2022 legislative session.  

Of these top concerns, domestic violence was shown multiple times in different categories, such as the: Family Violence and Prevention Services act, the reauthorization of the VAWA, the impact of stress and trauma during COVID-19, and federal funding for domestic violence survivors. All of these were marked as either most important or very important by the participants.  

The results of the study were very telling, and found that, “Over half of women are enthusiastic about voting in the midterms, which they believe will be impactful on their personal lives. Women nationwide are reporting high levels of anxiety related to their economic, caregiving, safety, health, and societal concerns – especially women of color, younger women, mothers, unemployed women, and low-income women. Strong majorities of women view 18 potential policy solutions as very important for Congress to act on, particularly those that are responsive to their top concerns.”  

An important note to consider is that due to the isolation of COVID-19, domestic violence cases increased drastically in 2020 and 2021. Therefore, this legislation to protect women and families who experience this sort of violence in the home is more important than ever right now. The YWCA has created a page where you can help make the difference and cosponsor the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act here 

Further information on the YWomenVote Study can be found here