What is VAWA?
Initially passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)1 was the first U.S. federal legislation to acknowledge domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes. It provides federal resources to enhance investigation, prosecution, and community-coordinated responses. Reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, VAWA is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. VAWA 2005 reauthorized existing programs to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, and created new programs and provisions to address the emerging needs of victims and communities.
1 U.S. Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005), enacted as Public Law 109‐162 on January 5, 2006.