Legislation We Follow
Violence Against Women Act
VAWA and Sexual Assault
VAWA is an Essential Tool
VAWA legislation continues successful programs to address victim needs and prevent sexual violence and includes new tools to improve the nation’s response to crimes of sexual violence.
Improving the Criminal Justice Response to Rape
There has been little or no change in the rates of rape prosecution in the last two decades and lack of prosecution allows serial rapists to go free. VAWA legislation passed by both the Senate and House strengthens the STOP and Arrest grant programs to better respond to rape. Improvements include modest set-asides for sexual assault projects and new purpose areas to support Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs; Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) and reductions in the rape kit backlog.
Current legislation extends VAWA housing protections to victims of sexual assault in all public housing programs and provides options for sexual assault victims to transfer quickly to a safer location.
Sexual Assault Intervention
The Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP), administered by the Office on Violence Against Women and reauthorized in VAWA, provides formula grants to states, territories and tribes for direct services to adult and minor sexual assault victims. Across the country, SASP funds support the critical services victims needs most including accompaniment through medical and criminal justice systems. Research shows these services increase prosecution, mitigate long-term reactions and help victims recover, but 65% of rape crisis centers have a waiting list for counseling according to a 2012 survey.
Preventing Sexual Violence
The Rape Prevention & Education Program (RPE), administered by the CDC and reauthorized in VAWA, provides essential funding to states and territories to support prevention and education programs for youth and professionals.
Over 2.5 million people received prevention information through RPE programs in 2010. Evidence-based bystander intervention programs like Green Dot help youth on campus and in high schools stand up against sexual violence.
Sexual Assault is a Huge Problem
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (CDC, December 2011) found:
• Nearly 1 in 5 women have been the victim of rape or attempted rape and nearly 1 in 2 have experienced some form of sexual violence. 1 in 5 men have experienced a form of sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime.
• 1.3 million women were raped in the United States in the last 12 months.
For more information, visit endsexualviolence.org.