What Is The Violence Against Women Act

What is the Violence Against Women Act?

The Federal Violence Against Women Act was originally passed in 1994. The main focus of the original act was to provide funding through grant programs to organizations helping victims of domestic violence and working to prevent it. The national domestic violence hotline was also established at this time.

In 1996, additions to the Violence Against Women Act were passed. It was these additions that gave women more protection from abusers and made it easier to leave a domestic violence situation. Some of these provisions included allowing victims of domestic violence to keep new addresses confidential — making it harder for an abuser to find them — and changing laws to allow immigrants who were battered spouses the chance to apply for permanent residency.

This act also established that the government would pay the legal and court fees, as well as provide the funding for rape kits, for cases involving a protection order. Protection orders were also confirmed as being recognized in all jurisdiction in the United States, and these orders continue to play a major role in helping victims of domestic violence escape dangerous situations.

To find out more about the protections and provisions outlined for victims of domestic violence in the Violence Against Women Act, it’s important to talk with a family law attorney. An attorney can help you better understand how these aspects apply to your specific situation, help you get the initial paperwork for a protection order filed with the courts, and help guide you through this sometimes challenging and emotional process from start to finish.

Source: FindLaw, “Federal Domestic Violence Legislation: The Violence Against Women Act,” accessed April 04, 2016


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