Congress Passes Expanded Violence Against Women Act


Logo of NoMore.org -- a campaign aimed at ending domestic violence and sexual assault in our communitiesThe U.S. House passed an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in February 2013, previously approved by the Senate earlier in the year, moving the legislation on for signature by the President.   The legislation enlarged the existing VAWA by extending domestic violence protections to victims in the LGBT, undocumented immigrant, and native American communities.

VAWA, initially passed in 1994 and reauthorized since, created a comprehensive approach for the federal government to address the national problem of domestic violence.  Among its features, VAWA:

  • strengthens federal penalties and enforcement for domestic violence and sexual assault crimes;
  • ensures nationwide enforcement of domestic violence protection orders issued in any U.S. state or territory;
  • created the Office on Violence Against Women, under the U.S. Department of Justice;
  • created the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE); and
  • funded billions of dollars to programs assisting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

(full text of the 2005 VAWA is found here).

Although VAWA has served to cut into the rate of domestic violence nationwide, the numbers remain staggering.  If you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, or know of someone who is and you’d like to seek help, consider the following resources:


About Gavin K. Doi

Gavin, a founding partner of Doi/Luke, was born and reared in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, graduating from McKinley High School, and receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in Denver, Colorado. Previously, Gavin worked with the Child Support Enforcement Agency and the AmeriCorps Domestic Violence Clinic. An advocate of pro bono legal work, Gavin volunteers time with Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii and the Hawai’i State Bar Association.In 2013, Gavin co-authored the book Child Custody Litigation and Settlements (Aspatore Books/Thomson West), penning the section "Working with Your Client Towards a Successful Child Custody Case." Gavin is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the HSBA Family Law Section, and was presented with the 2002 Justice Award by the Hawaii State Bar Association, which honors one lawyer annually for their outstanding contribution to the ideals of justice. The Hawaii Access to Justice Commission honored Gavin in 2012 for his pro bono service to the community.Gavin has extensive experience in divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, restraining orders, and other family law matters, and has a Distinguished rating with Martindale-Hubble®/Lawyers.com, and an Avvo rating of 10 out of 10. He can be e-mailed at: gkdoi@islandlawyers.com .

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