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Violence Against Women Act, the federal government’s signature legislation aimed at responding to domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and stalking, expired at the end of September 2018.
Legislative wrangling over the act’s provisions led to the expiration.
Restorative justice, for example, enables victims of violence to enlist community support in holding their partners accountable.
Lisalyn Jacobs, who worked on the act’s reauthorizations in 20, notes that these grants recognize that VAWA has been too focused on the criminal system.
The criminal system isn’t deterring domestic violence for a number of reasons.
Criminologists question whether criminal law serves as a general deterrent for any kind of crime.
With a total authorization of .1 billion in 2013, the act supports rape crisis centers, pays for lawyers for victims of violence and provides money for transitional housing.
And it increases protections for those in federal public housing.VAWA could fund job creation and training efforts for men who need work.It could invest in community-based programs that would challenge community norms around violence, teach community members to intervene productively, and shore up community infrastructure, addressing the instability that causes domestic violence.By 2013, 85 percent of VAWA monies were being funneled into the criminal system.
But I argue that the act could do more good if it focused on some of the underlying causes of intimate partner violence.
It could shift money into programs like Fathers for Change that target the intersection of domestic violence and substance abuse.