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25th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act

September 13th marks the 25th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). For a quarter of a century, Americans across the nation have come together to take a stand against the terrible violence perpetrated against women, youth, and men. Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking are horrific crimes that strip away the dignity of the person, leaving lives shattered and survivors severely wounded.

Today, the Office on Violence Against Women thanks and honors those who are on the front lines, who often risk their well-being to provide victims with safety, stability, and justice; moving women, youth, and men from being victims to survivors.

We thank the men and women in law enforcement and first responders in the health care community who assist victims, arrest perpetrators and abusers, and who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe. VAWA’s funding specifically supports programs to reduce homicides, prosecute repeat offenders, and intervene to break the cycle of violence. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and Sexual Assault Response teams in local communities are critical players in identifying the evidence necessary to bring justice and closure for victims.  

We thank prosecutors, judges, and victim assistants in America’s judicial system who provide justice for victims. With VAWA funding, our courts and prosecutors hold perpetrators accountable and protect victims from further violence. The Act also created training and funding for specialized prosecutors to focus on enforcing protection orders and on reducing domestic violence and dating violence homicides.

We recognize and thank those who serve victims in shelters, Family Justice Centers, national hotlines, community organizations, on campuses, and those who coordinate State, Tribal, and community resources. It is critical that victims of VAWA’s crimes receive the assistance they need following a traumatic event including, legal assistance, trauma-informed mental health and health care, and economic and housing assistance, among many other services. It is just as critical that these victims attain long-term safety, stability, and self-sufficiency. Funding from the Office on Violence Against Women and other Justice Department components helps to provide these services as well as lasting community partnerships that continue long after federal funding.

We remain committed to ending the heinous crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Office on Violence Against Women will continue to work with States, territories, tribes, and local communities to bring safety, stability, and justice for those affected by domestic and sexual violence

Updated January 20, 2021