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Although Congress has temporarily reauthorized the act, its future is again uncertain, and advocates warn of the dire consequences of failing to pass the law.But the fact is that the criminal system supported by the act isn’t stopping intimate partner violence.They are, she says, “an acknowledgment that there’s a significant population of people who need services and who are not engaging with law enforcement.”The act also provides new ways to remove guns from those who abuse, a measure that could decrease domestic violence homicides.And it increases protections for those in federal public housing.Restorative justice, for example, enables victims of violence to enlist community support in holding their partners accountable.
Criminologists question whether criminal law serves as a general deterrent for any kind of crime.
Criminalizing domestic violence exacerbates some of the factors that cause it in the first place.
Here’s how that happens: VAWA’s reliance on the criminal system comes from a time when Democrats and Republicans alike believed that being tough on crime was the answer to violence against women.
With a total authorization of .1 billion in 2013, the act supports rape crisis centers, pays for lawyers for victims of violence and provides money for transitional housing.
But the single greatest beneficiary of the act is the criminal legal system.
This was not the first time controversy has gotten in the way of extending the legislation.