PI-GRO women in legislation

APA advocates for domestic violence legislation and supports pay equity for women

APA advocates for domestic violence legislation

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), initially enacted in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, is the cornerstone federal law addressing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Over recent months, Congress passed different versions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act in the House (H.R. 4970) and Senate (S. 1925). Both bills include APA-supported public health provisions to reauthorize and strengthen the health care system’s identification, assessment and response to violence. However, the Senate version of the reauthorization bill includes more comprehensive protections for special populations, including American Indian/Alaska Native, immigrant and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survivors. Throughout the legislative process, APA has worked individually and with coalition partners in support of a comprehensive VAWA reauthorization that ensures that all survivors of intimate partner violence, including those from vulnerable populations, receive the services and supports necessary for optimal health and well-being.

APA has also advocated for the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) of 2012 (H.R. 5905) introduced by Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), which supports evidence-based training, psychosocial assistance, and trauma-informed services for international domestic and sexual violence survivors and their families.

APA supports pay equity for women

Despite the established laws against sex discrimination in the payment of wages, wage discrepancies between men and women persist in the United States, with men earning higher salaries across industries and occupations. The wage gap is even greater for women of color.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220) is designed to close loopholes in current law that enable wage discrimination based on gender and would make key progress toward eliminating the gender wage gap. In anticipation of a Senate floor vote, APA mobilized members of the Public Policy Advocacy Network (PPAN) and Division 35, Society for the Psychology of Women, to urge congress to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. APA also thanked Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) for her leadership in sponsoring this important legislation. Unfortunately, in a 52 - 47 vote along party lines, the act was defeated on a procedural vote. APA continues to advocate for this critical legislation to ensure pay equity for women and men.