HR 1620 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 - National Key Vote


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Title: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the Violence Against Women Act to expand transgender rights, protections for survivors of domestic violence, and restrict certain gun ownership.



  • Expands eligibility for unemployment compensation to individuals who voluntarily separate from work because they are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sexual or other harassment (Sec. 703).

  • Prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of stalking a dating partner or intimate partner from possessing a firearm (Title VIII, Sec. 802). 

  • Defines an “intimate partner” as the following, including (Title VIII, Sec. 801):

    • Spouse or former spouse of the person; 

    • An individual who is the parent of a child with the person; 

    • An individual who cohabitates or has cohabitated with the person;,

    • A dating partner or former dating partner; or 

    • Any other person similarly situated to a spouse who is protected by the domestic or family violence laws of the state or tribal jurisdiction in which the injury occurred or where the victim lives. 

  • Authorizes tribal jurisdiction over crimes of domestic, dating, and sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, and assault of a law enforcement officer (Title IX, Sec. 903). 

  • Authorizes funding to develop and implement alternative justice response programs to improve criminal justice responses to domestic and dating violence (Title I, Sec. 102). 

  • Defines “alternative justice response” as programs that include the following requirements (Sec. 2):

    • Involves the voluntary participation of those who have committed a specific offense and those who have been harmed as a result of the offense;

    • Has the goal of collectively seeking accountability from the accused and developing a process where the accused will take responsibility for his or her actions, and as a plan for providing relief to those harmed through allocation, restitution, community service, or other processes upon which the victim, the accused, the community, and the court (if court-ordered) can agree;

    • Is conducted in a framework that protects victim safety and autonomy; and

    • Provides information disclosed during such process may not be used for any other law enforcement purpose, including impeachment or prosecution, without the express permission of all participants.

  • Authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to determine the placement of transgender or intersex prisoners to ensure the prisoner’s health and safety, and includes serious consideration of the prisoner’s own views with respect to their safety and whether the placement would present management or security problems (Title XI, Sec. 1101). 

  • Defines “prisoner” as an individual who is incarcerated in a federal penal or correctional institution, including a vulnerable person (Title XI, Sec. 1101).

  • Defines “vulnerable person” as the following (Title XI, Sec. 1101):

    • Is under 21 years old or over 60 years old; 

    • Is pregnant;

    • Identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or intersex;

    • Is a victim or witness of a crime;

    • Has filed a non-frivolous civil rights claim in federal or state court;

    • Has a serious mental or physical illness or disability; or 

    • During the period of incarceration, has been determined to have experienced severe trauma or to be the victim of gender-based violence.  

  • Authorizes the Attorney General to develop a national strategy to reduce cyber crimes and increase federal prosecutions of cyber crimes against individuals (Title XV, Sec. 1503).

  • Defines “cybercrime against individuals” as an offense that involves a computer to cause harm to an individual, such as threatening, stalking, extorting, coercing, causing fear, intimidating, without consent distributing intimate images of, or violating the privacy of an individual (Title XV, Sec. 1503).

  • Authorizes federal housing programs to continue to provide the following, if a family break-up results from domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and the perpetrator no longer resides in the unit and was the sole tenant eligible to receive housing assistance (Title VI, Sec. 601):

    • Any other tenant or resident the opportunity to establish eligibility for the covered housing program; or

    • The tenant or resident at least 180 days to remain in the unity under the same terms and conditions as the perpetrator and find new housing, or establish eligibility for another covered housing program. 

  • Appropriates approximately $5 billion in grants to enhance legal tools to combat domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking for each fiscal years 2022 through 2026 (Title I, Sec. 109).

Title: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021