The year 1994 was momentous for domestic violence victims everywhere. In that year, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act, which added many new provisions for holding offenders accountable for their actions. Following are just a few tenets of the law:
- Federal penalties were strengthened for rapists and the “shield law” was created preventing offenders from using past sexual history against victims in a rape trial
- Victims were no longer responsible for paying for Orders of Protection and rape exams, so that victims of all income levels could get help
- Orders of Protection became recognized and enforced everywhere in the U.S.
- Dedicated law enforcement and prosecution units for domestic violence were developed
- Funding was provided for ongoing training of law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and victim advocates
- concerning the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault