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The Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act

Domestic violence against women is a very severe problem
throughout the United States. Throughout most of history, it has been the
responsibility of state governments to respond to cases of domestic violence,
as well as to punish offenders. Today, state governments are still the primary
enforcer of laws regarding violence against women. 

However, recent federal
legislation has given the federal government the necessary mechanisms to
prosecute individuals who subject their intimate partner to domestic abuse. In
1994, the United States’ Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act as a
result of the increasing severity and frequency of intimate partner abuse.
Congress recognized the long lasting, detrimental effects of intimate partner
abuse and the necessity of abolishing this adverse behavior. 

This new
legislation permitted the federal government to help combat violence against
women by establishing laws that are punishable by the federal government. Two
laws that provide the federal government with this authority are the Gun Control
Act and provisions against interstate travel to commit intimate partner abuse.
Because this legislation allows the federal government to prosecute offenders
who are responsible for violence against women, perpetrators may be bestowed
more severe penalties. The federal government now has jurisdiction to
investigate and punish cases of intimate partner abuse.

Additionally, the Violence Against Women Act allocated billions of dollars in
order to increase the effectiveness of response to cases of intimate partner
abuse, as well as to enhance investigative techniques. This legislation also
sought to advocate and to help ensure the prosecution of perpetrators. The Violence
Against Women Act designated financial funds to the establishment of a national
domestic violence hotline. 

This national crisis hotline operates twenty four
hours a day, seven days a week in order to provide individuals with essential
information, support, and advice. It supplies victims of intimate partner abuse
with the encouragement and the counsel that they need in order to escape their
harmful environment. The Violence Against Women Act has also made changes in
immigration law and allows victims of domestic violence to petition for
permanent residency in the United States. 

This helps to provide protection to
victims who are not citizens of this country and provides them with the freedom
that they need in order to begin a safe and healthy future for themselves and
their children. The Violence Against Women Act seeks to guarantee that all victims
of violence and brutality have access to improved services, despite their race,
ethnicity, or what language they speak. This Act allows individuals who are
responsible for violence against women to be penalized with fines, jail time,
restraining orders, and they may also be required to take part in counseling. 

Statistics indicate that since the legislation was passed, the rate of women
who are experiencing domestic violence and who are being killed due to intimate
partner abuse has decreased notably. The increased awareness about domestic
violence has provided abused women with the courage and the strength that is
necessary to seek help and assistance for their detrimental situation. The Violence
Against Women Act is saving the lives of women throughout the country.