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Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Laws protecting domestic abuse victims


Friends and family can go a long way toward helping domestic abuse victims overcome worrisome circumstances, but laws can ensure protection that loved ones cannot always provide. While some rules exist to assist vulnerable populations certain advocates find more protections are needed for vulnerable domestic violence victims.

The United States Congress passed two major laws combating domestic violence, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) in 1984.

The VAWA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton and provided 1.6 billion dollars to go toward the investigation and prosecution of crimes against women. The law also established the Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice. The Obama Administration claims that the VAWA has “saved an estimated $12.6 billion in net averted social costs in its first six years alone. In just one state, orders of protection saved $85 million in a single year through quality of life changes and savings in medical, criminal justice and other costs.” In addition to saving money, the VAWA has saved lives.

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act has also aided women and their families. One of the major components of this bill was the 24-hour, confidential, toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline providing interventions, counseling and referrals for victims of domestic violence. Impressively, the organization provides this help in 170 languages. Operators don’t discriminate based on “race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age or disability.”

Despite the efforts and progress by domestic violence advocates, the Obama Administration claimed more challenges remain for ending domestic violence once and for all.

The president’s team found 1 in 5 young women are still at risk for experiencing violence. The administration wrote that as long as one victim of violence remains, it is too much for the United States to bear. Victim blaming is a rampant problem as well, with some still claiming rape victims are “asking for it.” The Obama Administration is also concerned about the children witnessing these abuses and suffering from mental illness in the future as a result. The White House believes further financial and societal investment in domestic abuse prevention and treatment pays dividends.

Sovereign Health Group of Arizona supports women dealing with trauma after domestic violence. Our mental health professionals specialize in providing relief after such a trying time. Call us at any time to get started on your recovery today.

Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer

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