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The VAWA supports women who are domestic violence victims

Unfortunately, incidents of domestic violence against women in the state of Illinois and throughout the United States are still common. The Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994 to improve the manner in which domestic violence against women can be handled.

The Violence Against Women Act has come up with several methods for handling domestic violence, including setting up the National Domestic Violence Hotline. This hotline has answered the calls of women who have been victims of domestic violence, averaging approximately three million phone calls per month. Of those calls, approximately 92 percent are made by first time callers.

The legislation also helped encourage diverse groups to come together and respond to women victims of domestic violence. The Violence Against Women Act helps serve the needs of underprivileged communities by prohibiting the exploitation of female immigrants, many of whom would not otherwise call for police when involved in a domestic violence incident. This has created a safety net for such women.

Since the act was passed, the number of domestic violence cases has gone down. Cases of domestic violence reported by intimate partners have declined by 67 percent between the years of 1993 and 2003. During the same years, homicide rates among intimate partners have declined by 35 percent for women and 46 percent for men. The act has also increased awareness for sexual harassment and employment discrimination in the workplace. In addition, states have adopted policies increasing the severity of rape procedures, and all states passed laws making stalking a crime.

Source: WhiteHouse.gov, "Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act," Accessed on June 12, 2015

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