The Violence Against Women Act Was Signed 25 Years Ago. Here's How the Law Changed American Culture.

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tags: Joe Biden, Violence Against Women Act, 2020 presidential election, 2020 candidates

During the third Democratic primary debate on Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden brought together his potential future and his political past when he urged legislators to renew a piece of legislation that was first signed into law 25 years ago Friday. Biden has called that law, the Violence Against Women Act, the legislation he is “proudest” of from his career in the Senate.

Before President Bill Clinton signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act on Sept. 13, 1994, domestic abusers could cross state lines to avoid prosecution for beating their spouses, as law enforcement was not to required to listen to orders of protection filed in other states. Police officers were also generally discouraged from intervening in domestic violence cases.

Today, many experts credit VAWA with contributing to a dramatic decrease in the rate of domestic violence in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the overall rate of intimate-partner violence dropped 64% from 1993 to 2010.

Lawyers who helped to draft the bill say that part of the reason the legislation has been so successful is that it has helped to create a profound cultural change, and has encouraged Americans to take gender-based violence seriously.

Read entire article at Time Magazine

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