Long before its enactment on September 13, 1994, the foundation for the Violence Against Women Act was being constructed. More than 140 years ago, members of the U.S. government were working to end the injustice of violence against women when, in 1871, Alabama was the first state to make it illegal for a man to beat his wife (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). In 1967, one of the first domestic violence shelters in the country opened its doors in Maine; and from that time until 1994, progress slowly but steadily continued. Within the next 10 years, the first emergency rape hotline opened in the nation’s capital, and Pennsylvania alone established the first state coalitions against sexual assault and domestic violence, and was the first state to pass a regulation for orders of protection for battered women (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). Sexual and domestic violence protection was enacted on a national level when, in 1978, The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence were formed.
Perhaps some of the most pivotal moments leading to VAWA occurred in 1984 when the Duluth Project was formed, the Task Force on Family Violence was established, and the Family Violence Prevention Services Act was passed by Congress (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). The Duluth Project—the first criminal justice response paradigm to domestic violence—was established in Duluth, Minnesota, and created the “Duluth Model” that to this day, serves as “an every evolving way of thinking about how a community works together to end domestic violence” (“The Duluth Model – What is the Duluth Model?”, 2011). The Duluth Model approach takes the blame off victims and holds perpet...
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...criminal justice response to domestic violence” (Weissman, 2010, p. 227), with the majority of aid still going to police and prosecutors. On local levels, courts rarely provide monetary relief in domestic violence cases and victim claims seeking economic reward are challenging to uphold due to statutes of limitations (Weissman, 2010).
The Duluth Model - What is the Duluth Model? (2011). Retrieved February 1, 2014, from http://www.theduluthmodel.org/about/index.html
U.S. Department of Justice (2010). The history of the Violence Against Women Act. Retrieved
Weissman, D. (2013). Law, social movements, and the political economy of domestic violence. Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 20(221), 221-254. Retrieved from http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1240&context=djglp
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