The reauthorized Violence against Women Act will protect women in the US from violence

The reauthorized Violence against Women Act will protect women in the US from violence

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was recently reauthorized in the United States by President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, thus giving hope to the thousands of women and children who are subjected to daily acts of human violence, and require urgent help. Initially written in 1994 by Vice President Biden, the Act endeavors to reduce the frequency of violence in the country, by ensuring that both, victims of violence as well as care givers and rescuers are provided with the resources that they need in order to tackle the issue effectively. Issues of concern for the nation include, but are not restricted to, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, dating violence and date rape, online violence and other situations, which render women and children vulnerable to violent acts. The process of deciding reauthorization of the act involved meetings and discussions with federal interagency groups, which stretched over 3 years, and incorporated the various gaps and needs of the people, which needed to be addressed and included in the Act. These recommendations were then compiled and sent to the Congress for approval, many of which were included in the final Bill. With this newly authorized VAWA, a stronger and more united effort against violence will be presented by the US.

Among the many issues in focus, which were discussed and have been prioritized in the new VAWA, are issues pertaining to teen violence, which has been on the rise over the past years and remains as being one of many underreported issues. Pushing for justice for all survivors of violence, regular speaking engagements are held at schools and universities where awareness information is disseminated regarding saying no to violence and how to seek help and intervention. With increased access to information, legal help and intervention, it is hoped that young people will take proactive steps to curb violence in and around them, and will serve to inspire peers to do the same. Campus violence has also been addressed seriously after concerns were raised; from advocacy work to data collection in order to maintain an idea of the frequency of attacks, a proactive stance will surely improve the security of students on college campuses.

Keeping in mind its objective of being accessible to all sections of the community, the Act factored in the needs of the various minority communities in the US and also kept in mind the needs of Native Americans who are often subjected to acts of violence and discrimination. It was therefore an additional benefit to the immigrant communities within the US when the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was also reauthorized within the same legislation. With these predicted improvements to the justice system, it appears that the reauthorization of one act has led to a positive chain reaction within the justice system that will no doubt benefit the community at large. Justice for violence of survivors of violence involves a two-pronged approach; protection and intervention at the primary level. With the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act, the US is taking an active stance against violence and will ensure the protection of its people.

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