What is VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103–322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

VAWA was drafted by the office of Senator Joe Biden, with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups. The Act passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994, clearing the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 235–195 and the Senate by a vote of 61–38, although the following year House Republicans attempted to cut the Act’s funding. In the 2000 Supreme Court case United States v. Morrison, a sharply divided Court struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5–4 majority, the Court overturned the provision as exceeding the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause.

VAWA was reauthorized by bipartisan majorities in Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005, and signed by President George W. Bush. The Act’s 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas. Ultimately, VAWA was again reauthorized in 2013, after a long legislative battle throughout 2012–2013.

Call or Text

Feel Free to call/text if you have questions about crimes against women or the VAWA Program (405) 977-0284. Please allow time for reply or call back. If this is an emergency please call (405) 273-1727 or 911.


Please email Deputy Anthony Hopkins at deputy.hopkins@pottcoso.com. Please allow time for reply or call back. If this is an emergency please call (405) 273-1727 or 911.

Crack Down On Domestic Violence

Featured in the Shawnee Outlook October 2014 on page 21. Please click here to read article.

Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act

Click here to read interesting facts about VAWA.

One Safe Place, Family Justice Center

The Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office and the Family Justice Center movement.


RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest Network National Network
www.rainn.org • Phone: 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline www.thehotline.org
• Phone: 1-800-799-7233

The National Stalking Resource Center www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center • Phone: 1-800-394-2255

The Clery Center www.clerycenter.org
• Phone: 1-484-580-8754

National Sexual Violence Resource Center www.nsvrc.org
• Phone: 1-877-739-3895

Violence Against Women Network (VAWnet) www.vawnet.org

Project Safe, Shawnee, Oklahoma www.projectsafeok.com • Phone: (405) 273-9953

Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault www.ocadvsa.org • Phone: 1-800-522-7233

Visit the One Safe Place, A Family Justice Center website.