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Domestic Violence

Federal Approaches To Domestic Violence

Local and state governments are responsible for enforcing most domestic violence crimes. However, in 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Among its many provisions, VAWA makes certain offenses federal crimes, such as interstate stalking and violation of a protection order. In addition, the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the transfer, possession, or receipt of both firearms and ammunition by anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense. These laws reflect a larger trend to federalize the criminal law, and they are controversial. Advocates applaud them as providing for a fundamental change in the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence. Opponents argue that they are overreaching, ineffective, and grant excessive power to the federal government, and insist that combating domestic violence is best left to local, not federal, law enforcement. It is too early to access VAWA's impact on curbing domestic violence.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawDomestic Violence - Who Are The Abusers? Who Are The Victims?, The Causes Of Domestic Violence, Federal Approaches To Domestic Violence