“The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA; Title IV of P.L. 103-322) was originally enacted in 1994. It addressed congressional concerns about violent crime, and violence against women in particular, in several ways. It allowed for enhanced sentencing of repeat federal sex offenders; mandated restitution to victims of specified federal sex offenses; and authorized grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement entities to investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women, among other things. VAWA has been reauthorized three times since its original enactment. Most recently, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-4), which reauthorized most VAWA programs through FY2018, among other things.
The fundamental goals of VAWA are to prevent violent crime; respond to the needs of crime victims; learn more about crime; and change public attitudes through a collaborative effort by the criminal justice system, social service agencies, research organizations, schools, public health organizations, and private organizations. The federal government tries to achieve these goals primarily through federal grant programs that provide funding to state, tribal, territorial, and local governments; nonprofit organizations; and universities.
VAWA programs generally address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking—crimes for which the risk of victimization is highest for women—although some VAWA programs address additional crimes. VAWA grant programs largely address the criminal justice system and community response to these crimes, but certain programs address prevention as well…”