What is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)?

I am pleased that the House and Senate came together in a bipartisan manner to pass the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA has proven to be extremely effective in protecting Pennsylvania women and supporting victims of abuse and assault. I am particularly encouraged by the inclusion of my provisions to combat sexual violence on college campuses so that college campuses are safe and secure paces to learn and work.

Senator Bob Casey
February 29, 2013

The Law That Changed History

In 1994, in a remarkable spirit of bipartisanship, the U.S. House and Senate joined to enact the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). On March 7, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of VAWA for another 5 years.

VAWA was the first comprehensive approach to fighting violence against women through sweeping legal reforms and critically needed increases in federal funding for services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The recent reauthorization is a strong reauthorization that includes protections for women on Tribal lands, improves protections for immigrant victims, ensures services for LGBT survivors, and adds important housing protections for victims. The bill also preserves and maintains core funding for life-saving victim services.

VAWA efforts break the cycle of intimate partner violence by changing the culture of acceptance through:

  • coordinated, community-based services to keep victims safe
  • law enforcement tools to hold offenders accountable
  • criminal justice system response to sexual assault
  • housing protections for victims
  • services and prevention programs for teens and young adults
  • programs for victims who are Native Americans or who belong to other underserved communities

Read About the Changes Made in VAWA 2013, summarized by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women

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