Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is legislation passed by the Democratic Congress and signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1994 to provided billions of dollars to fund prosecutions of domestic violence and give grants to groups connected with domestic violence. A new Office on Violence Against Women was established at the Department of Justice to "to provide federal leadership" and "administer justice," and to make millions of dollars in grants. Democratic Senator Joseph Biden was a primary sponsor of the law.
The law also granted plaintiffs and their trial lawyers access to federal court for damages from alleged activities that never constituted federal crimes, but that provision was ruled unconstitutional in United States v. Morrison (2000).
An amendment in 2000 went further, adding funding for domestic violence groups and anti-date violence organizations.
In 2005, the law was again extended and expanded.