VAWA has been successful since its inception in preventing violence against women. It has been providing assistance and support regarding domestic violence and sexual assault. With its start in the year 1994, it has been reauthorized for three times. The most effective of all the reauthorization was in the year 2013 when it introduced some new provisions to be included under VAWA. Such provisions were previously rejected by the Congress and it was in 2013 that these provisions finally got amended. It was a very important step for stopping various domestic and sexual violence incidents prevalent in the US society. The new provisions included protection for the Native Americans, protection of LGBTQ community and protection against human trafficking.
Protection of Native Americans
It has been found from the study of University of Oklahoma that about 82% of Native American women experiences sexual or physical assault in their lifetime. Around 66% of Native American women face severe physical violence by their partners. The rate of IPV has been found to be higher among Native American women as compared to general women population in the US. Also, the rate of murder is also higher for Native American women and is 10 times higher than the general women populace.
Before the reauthorization of VAWA in 2013, there were no amendments and provisions for the protection of Native American women. In most of the cases, the incidents of violence against the Native Americans were instilled by the non-native US citizens. The new regulations of VAWA contain provisions for the Native Americans by overturning the previous judgments. With the new provisions, it allows prosecution in the tribal courts for sexual assault and domestic violence against the Native American women by the non-native Americans.
Protection of LGBTQ community
LGBTQ individuals are subject to domestic violence to a rate of 33% every year. From a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has been found that the prevalence of partner violence was higher in LGBTQ community as compared to heterosexual partners. There were various services which were created for the LGBTQ community under VAWA. However, most of them were inaccessible by the LGBTQ individuals. It was also found that around 85% of LGBTQ individuals were denied services due to their sexual orientation.
Overturning the previous amendments of VAWA, in 2013 some new provisions were added. The reauthorization of VAWA in the year 2013 strengthens the services for the LGBTQ individuals who are the victims of domestic violence. The first provision includes that all the services receiving funding from VAWA is bound to provide its service regardless of a person’s sexual orientation. The final provision establishes a grant program which is specifically aimed for providing services to the underserved population. The underserved population also includes LGBTQ individuals who are denied from care based on their gender identity.
Protection against human trafficking
It has been found that around 50,000 people are trafficked into the US every year. Women and children are more prone to trafficking as in most of the cases they lack in education along with the effect of unemployment. Discrimination in various countries also results in the trafficking of human. In most of the instances, women are lured into various networks of false promises and end up getting low wages, poor conditions of living and are also subjected to exploitation. In the reauthorization of VAWA in 2013, it recognized child sex trafficking as a form of sexual violence. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 was summed up together with VAWA in 2013 for enhancing protection and prevention from human trafficking. VAWA amendments helped in reauthorizing the appropriations related to TVPA.
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