Celebrating 20 Years of the Violence Against Women Act

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, so it’s time to put on our party hats and celebrate VAWA’s wonderful accomplishments!

 LM VAWA birthday cake

On September 9, please join Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, in posting to your web site, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter feeds about everyone’s favorite anti-gender-based-violence legislation. As you may know, then-Senator Joe Biden conceived of the Violence Against Women and invited Legal Momentum to work with him to make it a reality. He introduced the bill in 1990 and Legal Momentum worked with him and his Senate Judiciary Committee staff on an almost daily basis until VAWA was passed in 1994, with the support of a broad coalition of women's, faith-based, labor, civil rights and law enforcement groups. Here are some examples of VAWA’s effectiveness:

  • Between 1993, the year VAWA was introduced, and 2010, violence against family members and intimate partners in the U.S. declined 67%.
  • There has been as much as a 51% increase in reporting of such violence by women and a 37% increase in reporting by men.
  • Between 1993 and 2007, the rate of intimate partner homicides of women decreased by 35%, and the rate of intimate partner homicides of men decreased 46%.
  • VAWA has saved taxpayers billions of dollars in costs for medical and mental health services, as well as costs for law enforcement and justice system expenditures. 

We're posting this photo of us with VAWA's birthday cake. We hope you’ll get creative with signs, messages, and photos too! Some suggested tweets are listed below. We're using the hastags #HappyBirthdayVAWA and #ThankYouVAWA. If VAWA has made a difference in your life, please tweet or share. Let’s all light up social media about VAWA’s contributions to ending violence against women on Tuesday, September 9th!

To learn more about the details of the drama behind VAWA's passage and how Legal Momentum overcame opposition from the Chief Justice of the United States read EQUAL: Women Reshape American Law by Fred Strebeigh.

Happy Birthday VAWA!

Suggested posts/Tweets:

#ThankYouVAWA for enabling immigrant survivors of violence to petition for immigration status without their batterers’ help. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for providing emergency housing to victims of abuse and their families. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for providing lawyers to help victims of abuse in the courts. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for making sure victims don’t have to pay for their rape kits. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for making services available to LGBTQ victims of abuse. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for returning to tribal courts the ability to protect Native women from abuse. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for helping decrease the rate of #domesticviolence since 1994! #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for saving taxpayers over $12.6 billion in its first 6 years alone. #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for requiring colleges to have campus DV, SA and stalking policies! #HappyBirthdayVAWA

#ThankYouVAWA for ensuring that employers can learn how to help employee/survivors! #HappyBirthdayVAWA