Violence Against Women Act: History and Federal Funding
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Laney, Garrine P.
[Excerpt] The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) (P.L. 109-162) was enacted on January 5, 2006. Among other things, VAWA 2005 reauthorized existing VAWA programs and created many new programs. The act encourages collaboration among law enforcement, judicial personnel, and public and private service providers to victims of domestic and sexual violence; increases public awareness of domestic violence; addresses the special needs of victims of domestic and sexual violence, including the elderly, disabled, children, youth, and individuals of ethnic and racial communities; authorizes long-term and transitional housing for victims; makes some provisions gender-neutral; and requires studies and reports on the effectiveness of approaches used for certain grants in combating violence. VAWA programs are funded through annual appropriations for both the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS). President Barack Obama released his FY2011 budget on February 2, 2011, requesting funding of $649.36 million for violence against women programs. For programs administered by DOJ, the President requests $457.00 million, of which $187.50 million is for Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP) formula grants and $25.00 million is for Transitional Housing Assistance grants. The FY2011 funding request for programs administered by HHS is $192.36 million, of which $140.00 million is for Family Violence Prevention/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters and $5.00 million is for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The Obama Administration requests FY2011 funding of $500,000 each for two new efforts to address sexual and domestic violence and stalking in Indian Country: (1) Indian Country—Sexual Assault Clearinghouse and (2) Indian Country—Regional Summits. On December 16, 2009, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117; H.R. 3288) was enacted, providing total FY2010 funding of $625.91 million for violence against women programs, of which $444.50 million is for VAWA programs administered by DOJ and $181.41 million is for domestic violence programs under the Department of Health and Human Services. The original VAWA, enacted in 1994 as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (P.L. 103-322), established within DOJ and HHS formula and discretionary grant programs for state, local, and Indian tribal governments. The Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000; P.L. 106-386), reauthorized many VAWA programs, set new funding levels, and created new grant programs to address sexual assaults on campuses and assist victims of domestic abuse. The Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36) and the PROTECT Act (P.L. 108-21) authorized funding of both HHS and DOJ transitional housing assistance programs for victims of domestic violence. This report will be updated to reflect legislative activity.
Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005; VAWA 2005; domestic violence; sexual assault; legislation; public policy