Biden’s VAWA-Created Domestic Violence Hotline Receives 2 Millionth Call
Domestic violence cases are nasty and nearly impossible to untangle. And especially tough for kids who get caught in the middle. The one constant: women who have been so beaten down that they don’t feel like they have anyone to turn to are the ones who most need a hand up.
Joe Biden helped create a safe space with VAWA:
Approximately 1,400 women a year – four every day – die in the United States as a result of domestic violence. And 132,000 women report that they have been victims of a rape or attempted rape, and it is estimated that an even greater number have been raped, but do not report it.
Biden wrote and passed the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (PDF) which is the strongest legislation to date that criminalizes domestic violence and other forms of violence against women, provides victims with the support they deserve, and holds batterers accountable. Signed into law in 1994, the bill funds and helps communities, nonprofit organizations, and police combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
VAWA establishes a sexual assault services program and provides education grants to prevent domestic violence. Since VAWA was enacted, over 2,500 separate shelters, centers, and outreach offices have been established and the National Domestic Violence Hotline has received over 2 million calls. Shining a spotlight on this violence has resulted both in better supports for victims, and lowering the incident rate of domestic violence by 60%.
Having sat with women who were bruised, battered, terrified and shattered, sheltering kids from a screaming spouse in the courthouse lobby, and reading through one too many lab reports on broken bones and lacerations, I can tell you that VAWA makes a difference, especially by helping to fund shelters. I’ve done pro-bono representation of folks seeking a protection order, and had violent assholes follow me to my car, screaming threats along the way, afterward.
What Joe Biden did in writing VAWA, among many things, was to provide funds and expertise for training officers, prosecutors and judges across the country to better work these cases, and provide real help for victims who so desperately need hope. Bravo.
Hotline advocates are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. For more information visit www.ndvh.org.