Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, is federal law that provides for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. 

VAWA emphases a coordinated community response to domestic violence, sex dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as well as the courts, law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services, and the private bar working together in a coordinated effort.  

The Violence Against Women Act provides programs and services, 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