The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 was signed into law by President Obama on March 7, 2013 to amend portions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 1994, (VAWA). Anyone interested in learning more about any legal protections for victims of abuse, should contact an experienced VAWA attorney.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 1994 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 to invest $1.6 billion towards investigating and prosecuting violent crimes against women. This law imposed automatic as well as mandatory restitution on those people who are convicted under the Act.Defining the Purpose of VAWA
After years of drafting and amending, the United States Congress announced that the purpose of VAWA was to provide for Law Enforcement and Prosecution Grants to states under Chapter 2 of the Safe Streets Act.
The grants are “to assist States, Indian tribal governments, and units of local government to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violent crimes against women, and to develop and strengthen victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women.” 42 U.S. Code § 3796gg. Additionally, VAWA created the Office on Violence Against Women to oversee these grants.Grants Under VAWA
As a cornerstone of VAWA, Congress created a grants program to help provide support for all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating violence and stalking.
Under VAWA grant funds which are allocated by Congress and through the Office of Violence Against Women may be used for:
- Activities for which grant funds may be used include
- Training law enforcement officers and prosecutors
- Developing, training, or expanding specialized units of law enforcement officers and prosecutors
- Developing and implementing more effective police and prosecution policies, protocols, orders, and services
- Developing, installing, or expanding data collection and communication systems
- Developing, enlarging, or strengthening victim services programs, programs to address stalking and programs to help Indian tribes
Since VAWA was enacted in 1994 and expanded in 2013, there have been numerous grant programs that have been created and that have thrived including:
- Grants to Combat Violent Crimes Against Women/STOP
- Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP)
- Civil Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV)
- Transitional Housing Grants
- Grants to Encourage Arrest (GTEAP)
- Services for Rural Victims
- Tribal and Underserved Programs
- Prevention and Youth Programs
Since this bill was enacted, the grants programs have saved the states billions of dollars in social services for domestic violence victims, and has provided law enforcement officials with better training to address domestic violence reports.Programs Available for Domestic Violence Victims
In addition to establishing grants programs, VAWA also created programs and implemented services for domestic violence victims including:
- Federal rape shield law
- Community violence prevention programs
- Protections for victims who are evicted from their homes because of events related to domestic violence or stalking
- Funding for victim assistance services, like rape crisis centers and hotlines
- Programs to meet the needs of immigrant women and women of different races or ethnicities
- Programs and services for victims with disabilities
- Legal aid for survivors of domestic violence
These programs were designed and have functioned as a means for those affected by domestic abuse to have access to legal assistance and resources if they have been subject to domestic abuse.Benefit of a Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse, do not wait to contact a lawyer to discuss programs that may be available as well as civil restraints that may provide further protections.