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We are offering complimentary consultations with our experienced attorneys via phone, Skype, FaceTime and Zoom to anyone – individuals, businesses and organizations – with a situation and/or questions related to immigration and nationality law. We can advise or offer second opinions on family-based and employment based immigration options, employer compliance, maintenance of non-immigrant status and employment authorization, political asylum, removal defense, remedies through federal court litigation or other U.S. immigration matters. Please contact us 24/7 at (312) 444-1940 or

women against violence

Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act was a United States Federal Law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The act provided billions of dollars toward the investigation of crimes against women and the prosecution of the perpetrators. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was sponsored by several senators, including Joe Biden and Orrin Hatch, and drew support from many organizations and advocacy groups. In order to qualify for the Violence Against Women Act, a victim must prove he or she has been subjected to cruelty by a U.S. citizen and has been present in the U.S. for at least 3 years.

Reauthorization of VAWA Over the Years

The VAWA is a crucial piece of legislation whose goal was to improve criminal justice and responses to domestic violence and sexual assault. The original law was signed in 1994, but it was reauthorized in the years 2000, 2005, and 2013. The VAWA has allowed victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to seek help and gain access to services available for them.

1994 – VAWA is Passed

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, VAWA was initially passed into law in 1994. This law included community coordination that united the criminal justice system, social services, and non-profits responding to domestic violence and sexual assault. Additional support for the cause was recognized and resources were established, including domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. Additional components of the law included the following:

  • Federal prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes
  • Federal guarantees of protection orders
  • Protection for abused immigrants

2000 – Extended Protections for Immigrants

In 2000, Congress improved the established VAWA by identifying additional crimes related to dating violence and stalking. Legal assistance was provided, and programs were made available to victims of sexual violence and assault. Additionally, further protections were put into place for immigrants experiencing domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

2005 – Enhanced Criminal and Civil Justice Responses

Five years later, Congress enhanced the criminal and civil justice responses to domestic violence. Focus was shifted to holistically protecting victims of domestic violence, including immigrant women. Prevention strategies were put into place in an effort to stop violence before it occurred. Additionally, federal funding was made available to support rape crisis centers, and programs for victims were enhanced.

2013 – Increased Protections and Resources

President Barack Obama reauthorized the VAWA in 2013, which extended services that protected Native American women and members of LGBTQ+ community. The reauthorization also provided law enforcement with resources to better investigate rape cases, gave colleges more tools to educate students about the dangers of sexual assault and violence, and allowed tribal courts to prosecute individuals who committed domestic violence.


According to the National Institute of Health Journal of Women’s Health, 1 to 5 million women in the U.S. experience intimate partner violence each year. After the Violence Against Women Act was passed, the rate of domestic partner violence against females decreased by over 50% between 1993 and 2008 and has continued to decrease over the years.

VAWA Grant Program

The VAWA Grant Program is administered by the Office of Crime Victim Services. The grant program supports a variety of projects and initiatives that create partnerships among law enforcement, organizations, and communities, provides specialized training opportunities, and increases the resources available for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Contact an Attorney Today

The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have over seven decades of combined experience. Our attorneys provide individuals with the support and legal representation to navigate domestic violence cases. Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.

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