The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law. It was passed by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. It provided $1.6 billion to enhance investigation and prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted.
VAWA was drafted by then U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden's office with support from a number of advocacy organizations including the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the Texas Council on Family Violence, Futures Without Violence, National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Legal Momentum and The National Organization for Women, which described the bill as "the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades.”
VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005. VAWA is up for reauthorization in 2012.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) gives law enforcement, prosecutors and judges the resources they need to hold offenders accountable, keeps communities safe while supporting victims, and provides critical funding for prevention and education. It is absolutely essential to the work we do.
The Futures Without Violence organization has asked for our help advocating for reauthorization. Please see their request below:
Here's how you can help today:
There are several prior sponsors who are not on board yet: If any of these senators are from your home state, please ask them to re-commit:
Carper, Thomas R. - (D - DE)
Cochran, Thad - (R)
Cornyn, John - (R - TX)
Grassley, Chuck - (R - IA)
Hatch, Orrin G. - (R - UT)
Hutchison, Kay Bailey - (R - TX)
Inouye, Daniel K. - (D - HI)
Nelson, Ben - (D - NE)
Pryor, Mark L. - (D - AR)
Snowe, Olympia J. - (R - ME)
Here’s a quick and easy way to write to your Senators about S. 1925 (VAWA): http://www.senate.gov/general/
And here’s suggested text for your note:
Dear Senator _____________,
VAWA reauthorization legislation, S. 1925 by Senators Leahy and Crapo, was developed with the input of advocates from around the country and addresses the real and most important needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. It also invests in small prevention programs to stop the lifetime cycle of abuse and engages more stakeholders in the work to prevent and respond to violence. It is responsive, streamlined, and constitutionally and fiscally sound, while providing strong accountability measures and appropriate federal government oversight. This legislation represents our voices—the voices of victims and advocates. I ask you to wholeheartedly support the swift passage of S. 1925.