Wednesday, March 06, 2013

VAWA, Violence Against Women Act, Again

The Violence Against Women Act (1994), which probably did nothing to protect women from domestic violence in its former wording, has been expanded in 2013 to include the GLBT demographic, which according to testimony has a much higher rate of domestic violence than the straight community. Violence in the lesbian and bi-sexual groups was stated as higher than for heterosexual women and men, or gay men.

The CDC report found that 29.4 percent of lesbians and 49.3 percent of bisexual women reported experiencing some form of severe physical violence in their lifetimes, compared with 23.6 percent of heterosexual women.

I glanced through several web sites to see about the funding (aka “follow the money”) and found 18 grants in Wikipedia, and 21 on the DoJ page, connected to the current VAWA.  That’s full employment for a number of activists in a variety of fields—social workers, grant writers, lawyers, workshop planners, college professors, etc.  This list is from Wikipedia, so may not be complete.  I’ll keep looking.  Like Head Start which did nothing in over 40 years for children (who grew up to become adults), it is a jobs program.

  • STOP Grants (State Formula Grants)
  • Transitional Housing Grants
  • Grants to Encourage Arrest and Enforce Protection Orders
  • Court Training and Improvement Grants
  • Research on Violence Against Indian Women
  • National Tribal Sex Offender Registry
  • Stalker Reduction Database
  • Federal Victim Assistants
  • Sexual Assault Services Program
  • Services for Rural Victims
  • Civil Legal Assistance for Victims
  • Elder Abuse Grant Program
  • Protections and Services for Disabled Victims
  • Combating Abuse in Public Housing
  • National Resource Center on Workplace Responses
  • Violence on College Campuses Grants
  • Safe Havens Project
  • Engaging Men and Youth in Prevention

This is the grants/program information from the Department of Justice.

The DoJ reports on 21 different grants doled out to the states.  Ohio received over $8 million in 13 grants. Lots of grants for native American groups in the western states. $400,225,051 for over 750 grants to all states. Just can't find any comprehensive report.  We know violence is down in all areas in the last 20 years—usually attributed to better law enforcement and an aging population.  If it were VAWA, wouldn’t they take credit?

I thought I’d found one “results” report that might show a project had made a difference—the Safe Haven Demonstration project in Chicago (report was 2005 and 2008), but I was wrong.  Mainly, it was urging whites in a supervisory role to be more sensitive to cultural differences (2005) and noting how many families had been served with the additional money from VAWA since the program had been in place before 2002.

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