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State and Local Change and the Violence Against Women Act, Executive Summary, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
179 pages
This report explores the influences of the Violence Against Women Act on State and local processes and outcomes, above and beyond the fiscal consequences.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), incorporated in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, was intended to bolster the ability of law enforcement departments, prosecutors, and private nonprofit victim assistance organizations to increase services to women victims of violence, to better assure victim safety, and to increase offender accountability. The intent of this study was to explore the effect of VAWA on State and local processes. The report presented three types of findings: findings regarding VAWA on State and local approaches for dealing with violence against women; findings about the factors that mitigated for and against the impact of VAWA; findings about the complexities of implementation that should be taken into account in future studies of the impact of Federal legislation. The findings showed, as evidenced by VAWA, that Federal acts can play a significant role in addressing crime and stimulating social change at the State and local level. The findings also shed light on the importance of crafting an overarching Federal strategy encompassing several legislative mandates for bringing about change needed to reduce crime.

Date Published: January 1, 2001