Celebrating 15 years of the Violence Against Women Act

Sandra Harrell Former Associate Center Director
Jul 28, 2010

Last week, staff of Vera’s Accessing Safety Initiative (ASI) were in Boston to conduct a training for grantees titled “Applying the Principles of Universal Design to Serving Survivors with Disabilities and Deaf Survivors” for recipients of the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Disability Grant. We were honored that OVW selected our training as one of the events highlighted by the office to commemorate the 15th year of the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Passed in 1994 and re-authorized in 2000 and 2005, VAWA has allowed victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking unprecedented access to improved services and, ultimately, safety. Over the past 15 years, countless lives have been saved, the voices of survivors have been heard, families have been protected, and the criminal justice community has been trained on the complex responses to victims and survivors of violence through such OVW grant programs as the STOP Formula Grant, the Campus Grant Program, and the Disability Grant Program.

To mark the commemoration, OVW Director Sue Carbon and Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli attended ASI’s Boston training. They shared their perspectives on the importance of VAWA and the OVW’s enduring commitment to eliminating violence against women. They were joined by Susan Miller and Lisa Fleming of the Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, MO, who told their story of working to improve access and safety for survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors. ASI felt privileged to have been a part of such an important milestone.