Provides federal leadership in developing the national capacity to reduce violence against women and administer justice for and strengthen services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
In 1994 Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in recognition of the severity of crimes associated with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This Act emerged from the efforts of a broad, grassroots coalition of advocates and survivors who informed the work of Congress. In the two decades prior to VAWA, a movement had grown within the United States to respond appropriately to violent crimes against women. Rape crisis centers and women’s shelters were established in localities, and state and local laws had changed. However, the progress had been uneven around the country. VAWA was borne out of the need for a national solution. This Act enhances the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women.
Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)
145 N Street, NE, Suite 10W.121
Washington, D.C. 20530