The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103–322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provides $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also establishes the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.
VAWA was drafted by the office of Senator Joe Biden (D–DE), with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups. The Act passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994, clearing the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 235–195 and the Senate by a vote of 61–38, although the following year House Republicans attempted to cut the Act’s funding. In the 2000 Supreme Court case United States v. Morrison, a sharply divided Court struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5–4 majority, the Court overturned the provision as exceeding the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause.
VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, again in December 2005, and again in 2013, after a long legislative battle throughout 2012–2013.
Source: Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act
The History of the Violence Against Women Act Timeline
- U.S. Senator Biden introduces the first Violence Against Women Act.
- U.S. Senator Joseph Biden and the majority staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee conclude a three‐year investigation into the causes and effects of violence against women. In his introduction to Violence Against Women ‐ The Response to Rape: Detours on the Road to Equal Justice report, Senator Biden states, “Through this process, I have become convinced that violence against women reflects as much a failure of our nation’s collective moral imagination as it does the failure of our nation’s laws and regulations. We are helpless to change the course of this violence unless, and until, we achieve a national consensus that it deserves our profound public outrage.
- The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.
9/13/1994 President Bill Clinton signs the Violence Against Women Act into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
- Requires a coordinated community response to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes, encouraging jurisdictions to bring together multiple players to share experience and information and to use their distinct roles to improve community‐defined responses.
- Strengthens federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and included a federal “rape shield law,” which is intended to prevent offenders from using victims’ past sexual conduct against them during a rape trial.
- Creates full faith and credit provisions requires states and territories to enforce protection orders issued by other states, tribes and territories.
- Creates legal relief for battered immigrants that made it more difficult for abusers to use immigration law to prevent victims from calling the police or seeking safety.
- Allows victims to seek civil rights remedies for gender‐related crimes.1
DOJ, HHS, and CDC grant programs under VAWA 1994 include:
DOJ: The STOP (Services*Training*Officers* Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program, the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Assistance Grant Program, and the STOP Violence Against Indian Women Discretionary Program (created from a statutory set‐aside of STOP funds for Indian tribal governments).
HHS: VAWA authorizes funds to establish the National Domestic Violence Hotline and to support battered women’s shelters, rape prevention education, and coordinated community responses to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
IRS extends deadline for ‘innocent spouse’ tax relief application
8/12/13 4 hours ago YahooNews
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Moving to help victims of domestic violence and others, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Monday proposed rules to extend the amount of time taxpayers can apply for its “innocent spouse” relief program which stops collection of taxes in certain situations.
The program aims to assist taxpayers – including single mothers – who have filed tax returns as married couples but later face a tax bill. The applicants are usually people who did not know their spouse had accumulated a tax liability, which the “innocent” spouses are also responsible for as part of a married tax filing.
Under the proposed rules, taxpayers would have up to 10 years to apply for the program and stop a tax collection process. Nearly 50,000 people apply annually for the program, including some involved in domestic disputes or physical abuse.
In 2011, the IRS said it would stop enforcing a two-year deadline to file an innocent spouse relief application. Monday’s proposals would make the 10-year deadline permanent in law.
Tax Information for Innocent Spouses
* New Rule for Innocent Spouse Relief
The two-year time limit no longer applies for many innocent spouse requests. Under this new provision, many taxpayers may qualify for retroactive relief.
* Introduction to Innocent Spouses
This publication explains these types of relief, who may qualify for them, and how to get them.
* Explore if you are an Eligible Innocent Spouse
In order to qualify for Spousal Relief, you must meet certain conditions. Information is provided to help you determine if you qualify for relief.
* Three Types of Relief
In some cases, a spouse will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available.
* Innocent Spouse Relief – Publication 971
There are three types of relief for the innocent spouse.
* Applying for Innocent Spouse Relief
Find Form 8857 including Form 8857 Fillable and Spanish Versions.
* Where to Mail Completed Form 8857
Improve Service by mailing innocent spouse claims directly to Cincinnati.
* Innocent Spouse Questions & Answers
This section answers questions commonly asked by taxpayers about innocent spouse relief.
House GOP blocks Violence Against Women Act
Wed Jan 2, 2013 2:13 PM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog
Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).
And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.
Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.
But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.
And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, said in a statement:
“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”
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