14 Oct 2022


National and State Domestic Violence Laws

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The Violence against Women Act 1996(VAWA) hails out as a U.S. federal law enacted to reduce the prevalence of violence against women. Crimes of a federal nature are always felonies, and they attract a severe punishment if an offender is found guilty in the federal courts of law in the United States of America (Welchman& Hossain 2005).The federal government recognized that violence against women was prevalent in the nation hence the enactment of the violence against women Act in 1996. In a like manner, the New York state passed the FamilyViolence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA)that contains parts of the amendments of the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984. The 1995 law provides for amendatory arrest for suspected perpetrators of domestic violence, which is not the case with some repealed laws. The VAWA is a federal law against violence against women in the US while the FVSPA is a New York law aimed at preventing domestic violence in New York. 

The Violence against Women Act 1993. 

The federal law was passed to fight violence against women, but it also covers men and various men around the country have used it to win cases in federal courts, the law has had amendments over time. The Act provides a grant program to reduce domestic violence against women, and the program has a nationwide domestic violence hot line, which is used by all victims and whistle blowers to alert the agency about violations. The Act provides for victim protection in relations to domestic abuse, the agency can change the victim’s location, and citizenship laws are amended to host victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a federal misdemeanor under this law, and it is described as that violence that is committed by an intimate partner. Section 922 (g) provides that an intimate partner has to be a spouse, a person who shares a child with a victim, a former spouse or a person cohabiting with any individual directly involved in the debacle (The United States, 1995). Therefore, the law is out to protect women from the male chauvinistic society. 

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General Contents of the Act 

The Act provides for safe streets for women and in the bid to enforce that provision the legislation emphasizes federal penalties for crimes relating to sex. The law provides for delivery of grants to prosecute and enforce the laws against the offenders and provides for regulations relating to the safety of women in public transit. Further, the Act emphasizes interstate enforcement by advocating for the arrest of spouses that abuse their spouses and provision of grants to support victims of domestic violence ( McGuckin, 1999) . The Act contains amendments of the family violence prevention and services and provides for youth education, domestic violence, and confidentiality of information collected from abused people. Notably, the Act mentions civil right and in this provides compasses for women, equal justice for women in courts of law and training of law enforcement agents (The United States, 1995). Therefore, the law contains many provisions relating to domestic violence in a bid to eliminate domestic violence in the country. 

Offenses Created By the Violence against Women Act 

Sexual assault and aggravating sexual offenses form part of crimes emphasized by the Act because of their prevalence in women. The law goes ahead to aggravate the punishment for sexual offers like rape to reduce the criminal offense. By creating such penalties for sexual offenses, the Act goes ahead to changes the rules of evidence as against the suspected criminal of a sexual offense ( McGuckin, 1999) . More over the Act doubles punishments for habitual offenders in relations to domestic violence cases. The provisions of the law also make it a crime to cross the state line in violation of protective orders and orders granted by one state must be honored by other countries. Therefore, the Act creates sexual offenses and aggravates the punishments for offenders in relations to those cases. 

The Family Violence Prevention And Services Act. 

The Act was enacted and passed by the state of New York legislature to stop domestic violence in the State, and the law has had amendments over time. The council of women manages the Act by implementing all its policies in the state of New York. The Act has provisions that eliminate the three days "choice of forum" rule that precluded family violence victims from ensuring that limitations exist, primarily about both the access to the family in question and the criminal courts ( McGuckin, 1999) . Section 115 of establishes the criminal court and family court jurisdictions concurrently over family matters in of a civil and criminal nature( New York, 1995) . The law requires courts of law to notify litigants in family offenses the right to pursue a legal matter in all tribunals. 

Principal Contents of the Act 

As heightened in Section 140.10 (4) (5), there is a mandatory policy that deals with arresting any offenders, primarily in cases that touch on the family. The family, according to the law, hails out as any offense touching on the family, which ensues from acts that in one way or another account for the uncouth character ( Human Rights Watch, 1999) . Additionally, the Act provides for other offenses like attempted harm against current or former spouses, in families and line with the parent-child relationship. It is worth noting that the Act repeals other laws by providing for the immediate apprehension of a batterer if an aggravating circumstance exists ( New York, 1995) . Aggravating crimes include violations of orders of protection, the use of a dangerous weapon, and physical injury or serious physical harm. 


The Violence Against Women Actis a federal law of the United States of America enacted to reduce the prevalence of violence against women. On the other hand, the New York state passed the Family Violence Prevention Services Act that contains parts of the amendments of the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984. The Actembarks on eliminating domestic violence and protect domestic violence victims. Conclusively Acts derive their nature from international conventions and repealed laws of their kind when they came into force 


Human Rights Watch. (1999).  Broken people: Caste violence against India's "untouchables." New York: Author. 

McGuckin, F. (1998).  Violence in American society . New York: H.W. Wilson. 

New York (State). (1995).  Family Violence Prevention Services Act , N.Y.: New York State Department of Social Services. 

The United States. (1993).  Violence against Women Act of 1993. Report (to accompany H.R. 1133) . Washington, D.C. ?: U.S. G.P.O. 

Welchman, L., & Hossain, S. (2005).  "Honour": Crimes, paradigms, and violence against women . London: Zed Books. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). National and State Domestic Violence Laws.


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