Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

In 1994 Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in recognition of the severity of crimes associated with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This Act emerged from the efforts of a broad, grassroots coalition of advocates and survivors who informed the work of Congress. In the two decades prior to VAWA, a movement had grown within the United States to respond appropriately to violent crimes against women. Rape crisis centers and women’s shelters were established in localities, and state and local laws had changed. However, the progress had been uneven around the country. VAWA was borne out of the need for a national solution. This Act enhances the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women.

Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Violence Against Women Act Contact

David LeDoux
(401) 764-5795
Email

The 3 grant programs adminstered by the Violence Against Women Grant Office (VAWGO)

STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program

The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, awarded to states and territories, enhances the capacity of local communities to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violent crimes against women and to develop and strengthen victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women. Each state and territory must allocate 25 percent for law enforcement, 25 percent for prosecutors, 30 percent for victim services (of which at least 10 percent must be distributed to culturally specific community-based organizations), 5 percent to state and local courts, and 15 percent for discretionary distribution.

Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies are designed to encourage state, local, and tribal governments to treat domestic violence as a serious violation of criminal law requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system. Grant funds may be used for implementing mandatory or pro-arrest programs and policies; developing policies and training in criminal justice agencies to improve tracking of domestic violence cases; and creating centralized domestic violence units consisting of police, prosecution, the judiciary, or other criminal justice agencies.

Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program

The Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program is the first federal funding stream solely dedicated to the provision of direct intervention and related assistance for victims of sexual assault. The SASP Formula Grant Program directs grant dollars to states and territories to assist them in supporting rape crisis centers and other nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations or tribal programs that provide services, direct intervention, and related assistance to victims of sexual assault. Funds provided through SASP are designed to supplement other funding sources directed at addressing sexual assault on the state and territorial level.