Knowledge Base

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was initially passed into law in 1994 and has subsequently been reauthorized with key enhancements in 2000, 2005, and 2013.  With each reauthorization, VAWA has become more comprehensive in order to improve efforts to address the needs of all individuals experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, including improving access to services and safety for immigrants, survivors from Communities of Color, Native American survivors, the LGBTQ community, and those from other underserved communities. Esperanza United continues to advocate for efforts to reauthorize and improve VAWA, along with other critical legislation, to enhance access to safety, support, and well-being for Latin@ survivors and their families and to improve prevention efforts.

Key enhancements in 2022

The 2022 Reauthorization of VAWA strengthens the law to better serve the needs of survivors by improving services for survivors, including economic and housing resources, community-based restorative practices, and culturally-specific services, and addressing to the needs of diverse populations, such as LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and young people. VAWA also improves the criminal justice and civil legal response, and increases access to safety and justice for Indigenous survivors. We are also excited to share that this VAWA reauthorization increases authorized funding levels for culturally-specific services, creates a new OVW advisor on culturally-specific communities, and creates a new LGBTQ-specific grant program.