Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), sponsored by then Senator Joseph Biden, is U.S. legislation aimed at increasing the level of federal commitment to address violence against women and children. The purpose of this entry is to provide readers with a brief historical overview of the VAWA and its subsequent reauthorizations while focusing on the specific provisions contained within the legislation. In addition, this entry examines various VAWA provisions that address issues of surveillance, security, and privacy of abuse victims. Included among these provisions are DNA fingerprinting, rules of evidence, confidentiality between client and counselors, safeguarding personal identification, and cyberstalking. The entry concludes with an examination of controversies associated with VAWA legislation.


One of the earliest efforts to combat intimate partner violence (IPV) involved ...

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