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Gender Identity, Sexual Harassment Prevention

Your Rights Under the Violence Against Women Act

June 17, 2024

From intimate partner violence behind closed doors to sexual harassment in workplaces and campuses, several injustices reflect systemic barriers and discrimination against women. 

In 1994, the United States enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to combat dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. While men can certainly be victims of these crimes, the issues disproportionately impact women and non-binary people.

Below, we explore the provisions of this law and explain why following both Title IX and VAWA requirements helps foster a safer, more equitable society.

college students learning about title ix and VAWA requirements

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act was a landmark piece of legislation passed to combat different forms of sexual violence and harassment. It was enacted to provide resources for victims, increase awareness, and improve the criminal justice system’s response to these crimes. 

Since its inception, VAWA has been instrumental in supporting victims and promoting accountability for perpetrators. 

The provisions that were originally established in the 1994 legislation were further expanded through subsequent updates in: 

– The Violence Against Women Act of 2000

– The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 

The updates broadened the scope to include sexual assault and stalking and address the needs of underserved populations. 

VAWA 2000 strengthened protections for battered immigrants, sexual assault survivors, and dating violence victims, facilitating interstate custody orders for domestic violence victims. 

VAWA 2005 furthered these efforts by emphasizing service access for communities of color, immigrant women, and tribal communities, and introducing new programs like Court Training, Child Witness, and Culturally Specific initiatives. 

What Rights Does the VAWA Grant?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants important rights and protections to victims of gender-based violence, including women, men, and individuals of diverse gender identities. 

These include the following: 

Access to Support Services: VAWA ensures victims have access to several support services, such as counseling, shelters, and hotlines, which are vital for their safety and well-being.

Legal Safeguards: It provides legal protections, including the ability to obtain protection orders against abusers and improved enforcement of these orders across jurisdictions.

Housing Protections: VAWA prohibits landlords from evicting or denying housing to tenants who are victims of domestic violence or stalking due to incidents related to their victimization. As a result, victims don’t face homelessness when seeking safety.

Legal Aid: Survivors of domestic violence can receive legal aid and assistance to navigate legal processes, ensuring they have the resources needed to pursue justice and protect themselves. 

How Does Title IX Complement the VAWA?

Title IX complements the Violence Against Women Act by focusing on gender equity in educational settings. While VAWA addresses broader forms of gender-based violence, Title IX specifically ensures equal opportunities in education and prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools and colleges. 

Title IX includes policies against sexual harassment and assault on campuses to provide victims with avenues for reporting and support. 

Together, Title IX and VAWA create a comprehensive framework to address gender-based violence, promoting safer environments and equitable treatment across both educational and societal contexts.

experts teaching about title ix and VAWA requirements

Learn More About Title IX and VAWA Requirements with Catharsis Productions

Whether for college campuses, workplaces, or the military, our programs help raise awareness regarding sexual harassment and violence and how to create safer spaces through bystander intervention, consent, and other concepts. Contact us today to learn more! 

Catharsis Productions

Catharsis Productions' mission is to change the world by producing innovative, accessible and 
research-supported programming that challenges oppressive attitudes and shifts behavior.