Violence Against Women Act

On September 13, 1994, Congress passed a groundbreaking law called the Violence Against Women Act. The bill finally put the full force of the federal government into efforts to stop domestic violence and help victims. Not only did it reshape our criminal justice system, and introduce training for judges and law enforcement, it provided the funds for a national network of shelters, services and supports.

Since its passage, domestic violence against adult women has declined 64 percent.

Esta VAWA Throwback
“We can no longer choose between services for victims, or training for law enforcement, or prevention programs that stop the violence before it starts. We must do it all. We must mend the victims and end the violence.”

-Esta Soler, Founder and President of Futures Without Violence 

FUTURES, formerly called the Family Violence Prevention Fund, was a driving force behind this bill from the beginning. Throughout the 1980s, we worked with grassroots organizers all over the country to protect those facing violence and support broken families. Working with other passionate advocates in the early 1990s, we convinced Congress to fund shelters and support services, change laws, address problems in our criminal justice system, and focus on prevention.

In the past 20 years, the law has become a catalyst for improving the response to violence against women from our health care system, children’s programs, schools, organized sports, employers, social service agencies, the media, and others. The Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized by Congress in 2000 and again in 2005 and 2013. We are asking Congress to reauthorize and expand it again this year.

Check out the resources on the right side of this page to see the current bill text for the VAWA 2021 Reauthorization, a section-by-section break down of the bill, and a one page summary.


Read below a statement by Founder and President of FUTURES, Esta Soler


Download (PDF, Unknown)



What now?

Here’s how YOU can help! Reach out to your representative, and urge them to vote for VAWA! You can look up who your representative is here. You can also Tweet at your Rep, and let them know what you think! Find their twitter handles here.

Sample tweet:

“I’m with @JacksonLeeTX18 & @RepBrianFitz. Pass the bipartisan #VAWA4ALL because all survivors deserve justice! @RepHandle, please co-sponsor and vote for H.R.1620 #VAWA21”