Skip to content

Fighting for Native Hawaiian Survivors of Gender-Based Violence


This week, the Senate unanimously passed legislation I introduced to allow Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence to access critical programs and resources provided by Congress through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). My legislation makes an important change to VAWA to ensure Native Hawaiian organizations can actually serve the Native Hawaiian community.

For decades, Congress has provided funding to organizations that support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, dating violence, and stalking through VAWA. Tragically, Native women across the country— including Native Hawaiian women—experience disproportionately high levels of sexual violence. This crisis is heartbreaking and demands action.

To address the disproportionate violence against Native women, VAWA includes funding specifically for Native-serving non-profits, such as Native Hawaiian organizations. However, it excluded Native Hawaiian women from accessing these critical resources—which was unacceptable.

Senator Hirono speaks about her legislation on the Senate floor.

That’s why I’ve been fighting to update VAWA to include Native Hawaiians. My bill will enable Native Hawaiian organizations to actually serve the Native Hawaiian community and do even more in the fight to end sexual violence. I’m proud that the Senate unanimously passed this legislation and I'll keep fighting to get this bill passed in the House and signed into law.

I have been a strong advocate and longstanding supporter of programs and resources that uplift survivors of sexual violence. In August, I pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray to strengthen its efforts to protect the Native Hawaiian community from sexual exploitation and emphasized the need for the FBI to include the Native Hawaiian community in its work to address the missing and murdered Indigenous people crisis and violence against Native communities.

I will always fight to ensure the Native Hawaiian community has the resources they need in order to successfully implement initiatives and programs that continue to uplift the community.


Mazie K. Hirono
United States Senator

You can follow my work in the U.S. Senate on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.