Why VAWA is important

Today, Catherine Pierce, the Acting Director of the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Some highlights from her testimony after the jump.

Since 1995, OVW has made grant awards and cooperative agreements totaling over $3.5 billion to communities across the United States.
[I]n the six-month reporting period from January to June 2008 alone, OVW discretionary program grantees reported that:
Nearly 115,500 victims were served; More than 228,000 services (including shelter, civil legal assistance and crisis intervention) were provided to victims; More than 3,500 individuals were arrested for violation of protection orders; and 261,622 protection orders were granted in jurisdictions that receive funding from OVW’s Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program (Arrest Program).
In addition, subgrantees receiving funding awarded by States through OVW’s STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program (STOP Program) reported that, in calendar year 2007:
More than 505,000 victims were served; Over 1,201,000 services were provided to victims; and More than 4,700 individuals were arrested for violations of protection orders.

Pierce also discussed how the OVW has been developing national elder abuse training curricula, the release of a national report on stalking, outreach to the deaf community, and its work with Tribal governments to respond to disproportionate rates of violence targeted towards Native American women.
Piere said, “In the years since VAWA’s enactment, we have witnessed a sea-change in the way that communities respond to violence against women. Communities recognize the specialized needs of victims and the training required to effectively handle domestic violence and sexual assault cases. As a result, dedicated units of law enforcement officers and prosecutors have grown far more common – often with the support of VAWA funds.”
Related posts: Why VAWA Matters
Quick Hit Action Alert: Restore VAWA Funding.
Intimate Partner Violence declines
The Office on Violence Against Women gets a new (scary) director

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