Timeline:In 1994 - Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act; This was huge WIN for victims, survivors, and pro-women’s groups that worked hard to persuade congress to legislate federal protections for women; VAWA - includes provisions to protect and prevent rape, and battering that focused on prevention, and funding for victims services; It included the first federal criminal law against battering and a requirement that every state recognize and enforce orders of protection issued anywhere in the United States; It was created because states alone were failing to protect victim/survivors and address the violence without federally instituted legislation to further protect victims; VAWA has funded many programs to help victim/survivors;
In 2000, VAWA expanded and improved protections for battered immigrants, sexual assault survivors, and victims of dating violence. Under this act, Congress created U visa and T Visa, allowing temporary legal status for immigrant victims and worked to strengthen the ties between immigrant communities and law enforcement.
In 2005, VAWA continued to improve these protections and focused on access to services for communities of color, immigrant women, and tribal and Native communities.
In 2013, VAWA continued to improve victim/survivors quality of life by improving the Housing Urban Development (HUD) public and section 8 housing. It provided protection for not only victim/survivors of domestic violence, stalking, but also victims/survivors of sexual assault that are tenants and cannot be denied assistance because they are a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. It also allowed for emergency transfers plans and victims ample time to find new housing. This act also provides shelter funding and safe havens for victim/survivors. It also enhanced resources to address Sex trafficking
The exact date of VAWA reauthorization is not known. But it is likely to come up in October 2018.
Every subsequent reauthorization since its enactment has vastly improved services for victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking. It has also funded and improved access to education and training about violence against women for advocates, health professionals, law enforcement, prosecutors and judges. Acknowledging all of these sectors--law enforcement, prosecution, victim services, etc. is CRUCIAL. VAWA is also a big tool to prevent violence against victim/survivors from becoming a vicious circle.
This not only helped immigrant women but any victims of these four crimes. including native American tribes, the elderly, LGBTQ(A)I Communities, and in some cases men. The reason why VAWA is so important and we continue to advocate strongly for VAWA is because this particular Act has fostered stronger victim protection & autonomy, increased legal services, and improved offender accountability. It provides counseling services, legal services, advocacy services, greater protection for all victims. The fate of VAWA and the fate of millions of victim/survivors is in your hands. Please sign below to urge our representatives to support the reauthorization of VAWA.