Happy 20th birthday, VAWA!

Last Saturday we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Violence Against Women Act. This historic piece of legislation transformed the way we address domestic violence and sexual assault by expanding resources available to survivors like shelters and hotlines, improving law enforcements' ability to pursue perpetrators, and guaranteeing access to sexual assault exams. It also directs resources toward preventing these crimes. At the same time we applaud the advances made in the last 20 years, news about NFL players accused of domestic violence seemed to be everywhere. It is a stark reminder of just how much work remains, but it started a new conversation about how we can prevent domestic violence, how it should be punished, why victims of abuse may not leave a relationship, and how we can best serve survivors. Read more about the conversation that started on Twitter here. Finally, the White House has launched a new initiative to help everyone learn more about how we all can help prevent sexual assault and support survivors of sexual assault. The program provides tools and resources to empower anyone to learn how to recognize and intervene in situations in which consent is not given and how to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. It aims to transform the way bystanders respond to situations that could lead to sexual assaults. Learn more at http://itsonus.org.Check out the resources DCFNE provides to survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.