Golden Votes to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

March 17, 2021
Press Release
Legislation includes provision affirming Maine tribal nations’ authority to prosecute domestic violence perpetrators in tribal courts

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) voted today for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. The legislation reauthorizes and expands the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), landmark legislation to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and related issues. He previously supported the bill when it passed the House in 2019.

“I was proud to once again support this bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act,” Golden said. “Domestic violence is still all too common in Maine, which is why the programs and resources continued with this bill are critical. Most importantly, the resources in the legislation provide a safe place for victims to turn to for help in escaping violence and abuse. VAWA has received bipartisan support in Congress many times before and it is my sincere hope that the Senate will pass this bill, or offer a conference with the House, to ensure that these programs are reauthorized in this Congress.” 

In addition to reauthorizing the law, this legislation explicitly ensures that Maine tribes will be able to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking in tribal courts. Although federally-recognized tribes were afforded this right under the 2013 reauthorization of VAWA, Maine’s tribes were excluded due to interpretation of the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, which requires Maine tribes to be specifically mentioned in federal laws pertaining to tribal nations in order for those laws to apply.