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What is the Violence Against Women Act?

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2021 | Immigration And Naturalization

There are many reasons to seek asylum in the United States. There are also many reasons that the United States may grant an immigrant asylum. Not every option works for every immigrant, and not every immigrant shares the same circumstances.

But if you are a battered woman seeking refuge from your abuser, you may have a basis for asylum. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) may protect you if reauthorized.

VAWA protects against domestic violence

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) discusses the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This act creates and supports comprehensive responses to all forms of domestic violence. It also includes protections against stalking, dating violence and assault.

VAWA was first passed in 1994. Since then, new reauthorizations added modern updates to cover more at-risk people. In 2000, it included legal assistance programs for victims. It also included responses to stalking and dating violence.

2005 saw the addition of linguistic and cultural services, along with holistic response programs. These helped meet the needs of survivors and communities. It also provided funding for rape crisis centers and landmark housing protections for survivors.

The reauthorization in 2013 added access for Native American and LGBTQ survivors. It also advanced protection of immigrants seeking refuge from abuse.

Reauthorization of VAWA

VAWA is currently up for reauthorization again after Congress stalled it for over a year. If reauthorized, the act will not roll back any of its current protections. On top of that, it seeks to increase investment in protection against domestic and sexual violence. It also seeks to provide safe housing options, create more avenues for justice and promote the economic security of survivors.