VAWA was enacted in 1994 as a comprehensive legislative package that represents the first major Federal investment in State and local efforts to address violence against women. VAWA was enacted because of the growing public awareness of the devastating consequences that violence has on female victims, their families, and society as a whole. VAWA also stemmed from the recognition that violence against women requires specialized responses in addressing distinctive barriers that prevent women victims from seeking assistance from the justice system. The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) further improved legal tools and grant programs that address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Under VAWA funding, NIJ has sponsored several research grants whose findings further identify the challenges and potential effective responses to ending violence against women. These studies address such issues as domestic violence, rape, homicide by intimate partners, improving sexual assault investigations, the sexual victimization of college women, and the role of stalking in serious domestic violence cases.