Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) was a U.S. federal law signed by President Bill Clinton on Sept. 13, 1994. It provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, and established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice. The VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005, but its 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas. In April 2012, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and the House subsequently passed its own measure (omitting provisions of the Senate bill that would protect gay men, lesbians, American Indians living in reservations, and illegal immigrants who were victims of domestic violence). Reconciliation of the two bills was stymied by procedural measures, and on Jan. 2, 2013, the Senate’s 2012 reauthorization was not brought up for a vote in the House, effectively ending the Bill after 18 years in effect. [ Wikipedia →]