Presentation Title

The Violence Against Women Act (1994) and the Incarceration of Survivors

Faculty Mentor

Lori Campbell

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

5

Session

poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 sought to decrease gender violence, but the misallocation of funds to policing and public safety left victims with little to no resources. This legislation was a response to the grassroots efforts in the late 80s/early 90s to bring policies criminalizing domestic/sex dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The $30 Billion legislation used $9.7 Billion for prisons and hired 100,000 new police officers while only giving $1.6 Billion for investigations and prosecutions of violent crimes against women (Sacco, 2015.) Two years later in 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act passed, and the welfare “reform” reduced the only economic safety net women could rely on to leave abusive relationships (Cooper, 1995.) Without these economic safety nets, women have no option but to stay in abusive relationships. Under a transformative framework, I conducted a qualitative interview that took a narrative research approach as a model. Using a progressive-regressive method, the participant begins with a key event in their life and then works forward and backward from that event. (Creswell and Poth, 2018) I interview a woman who was criminalized for not leaving her abusive partner sooner, which resulted in the death of her three year-old-son. I explore the ways in which both the act and system failed her and other survivors. The policy is meant to help, protect, and lead women back to safety, but the misallocation of funds creates a clear pathway to death; or in my participant’s case, death of her child and incarceration.

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Nov 23rd, 10:00 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

The Violence Against Women Act (1994) and the Incarceration of Survivors

5

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 sought to decrease gender violence, but the misallocation of funds to policing and public safety left victims with little to no resources. This legislation was a response to the grassroots efforts in the late 80s/early 90s to bring policies criminalizing domestic/sex dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The $30 Billion legislation used $9.7 Billion for prisons and hired 100,000 new police officers while only giving $1.6 Billion for investigations and prosecutions of violent crimes against women (Sacco, 2015.) Two years later in 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act passed, and the welfare “reform” reduced the only economic safety net women could rely on to leave abusive relationships (Cooper, 1995.) Without these economic safety nets, women have no option but to stay in abusive relationships. Under a transformative framework, I conducted a qualitative interview that took a narrative research approach as a model. Using a progressive-regressive method, the participant begins with a key event in their life and then works forward and backward from that event. (Creswell and Poth, 2018) I interview a woman who was criminalized for not leaving her abusive partner sooner, which resulted in the death of her three year-old-son. I explore the ways in which both the act and system failed her and other survivors. The policy is meant to help, protect, and lead women back to safety, but the misallocation of funds creates a clear pathway to death; or in my participant’s case, death of her child and incarceration.