VaWa: did you Know?

This is the first in an ongoing “Did you know” series in Karidat Korner. These articles will collect facts and stats on questions relevant to the CNMI and the work of Karidat Social Services.

This week, “Did You Know” is highlighting an often-unspoken crime: domestic and sexual violence against women. Women who are threatened, beaten, coerced or sexually assaulted by intimate partners are offered certain protections from the law.

– The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was introduced in Congress in 1990 and enacted on September 13, 1994 by President Bill Clinton

– VAWA was a result of years of work and advocacy by various groups and individuals around the country who felt that it was necessary to educate about gender violence and more ag- gressively fight crimes against women in the courts and in State laws.

– The Act increased funding to women’s shelters around the country

– It increased prison sentences for federal sex crimes

– VAWA focused attention on the needs of underserved communities, and provided legal protections for migrants

– One way that VAWA created legal relief for battered immigrants was to make it more difficult abusers cannot use the victim’s immigration status to prevent victims from calling the police or seeking safety.

– If a foreign-born woman, married to a U.S. citizen, was battered by her US citizen spouse, she is now entitled to immi- gration relief.

– In 2013, amendments to VAWA were added in order to support tribal governments in building their capacity to protect American Indian and Alaska Native women.

– VAWA helped establish the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

– The Act made it easier for victims to obtain court Orders of Protection or Temporary Restraining Orders against abusive partners.

– Between 1994 and 2010, studies showed a decrease of domestic violence by 64% nationwide

– VAWA protects all victims of violence and sexual as- sault—not just women. Male victims are also included, as are children, because VAWA is subject to the same general anti- discrimination laws that apply to all federal government activities.

Karidat would like to note that the Catholic Church condemns domestic coercion and violence of all kinds. Abuse of others goes against their dignity. It also is an affront on the dignity of the abuser.

If you need help controlling your actions or your temper, please call our Hotline. If you are a victim or know someone who is experiencing acts of violence, you may also call 24 hrs for help or advice. Hotline # 234-5100

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