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Violence Against Women Act

VAWA was first enacted in 1994 to raise awareness of domestic violence and assault crimes against women. Since its inception, VAWA has been updated and modified. VAWA’s most recent reauthorization was signed into law in March of this year (effective October, 2022). Some notable changes by the VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2022 were the revised definition of domestic violence and new definitions including but not limited to economic abuse and technological abuse. To learn more about the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022, click on this White House fact sheet.

Today, VAWA applies to everyone in the United States and requires that university policies and procedures address sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as well as provide sexual violence education programs, prevention programs, and awareness campaigns.

All institutions are charged with adopting the following VAWA requirements:

  • A statement that the institution prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
  • A clear definition of what constitutes domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the applicable jurisdiction; 
  • A definition of consent in regards to sexual activity, in the applicable jurisdiction;
  • Safe and positive options for bystander intervention in order to prevent or intervene when there is a risk of sexual violence or stalking against another individual; and
  • Information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior or how to avoid potential attacks.

Information about how UT Health San Antonio’s Police Department is implementing VAWA requirements and working to improve the safety of the UT Health San Antonio campus, please visit UT Health Police Department’s Violence Against Women Act webpage.