This report reviews literature on the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence on victims, summaries the history, summarizes the history and content of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, and presents an impact evaluation of the STOP Violence Against Women grants program funded under VAWA.
The grants helped government agencies develop and strengthen law enforcement, prosecution, and victim services. The evaluation used data from two samples of representatives of law enforcement, prosecution, and court programs. Information came from 62 interviews with STOP subgrantee program representatives and 96 interviews with representatives of collaborating programs. Results revealed that most programs were prosecution or law enforcement programs. The majority were fairly new; over one-third began with the receipt of STOP funds. The average award was $47,626. Results also revealed that the programs provided a wide variety of services to victims at many stages of case processing. Participants reported many program changes and impacts. The majority of surveyed programs reported that they were able to serve more victims, expand the type of services, and provide more comprehensive services as a direct result of the STOP funding. A majority of those surveyed believed that STOP grants resulted in empowering victims and improving victims’ psychosocial well-being. The majority also reported that STOP grants had direct impacts on keeping victims better informed about case processing, improving the criminal justice response to victims, producing more successful prosecutions, and reducing the number of victims who withdrew their support from the prosecution. Participants also reported that the STOP funds affected the way the community handled victims. Overall, the analysis concluded that that STOP funds substantially improved the lives of victims and the criminal justice system response to victims. Tables, appended survey instruments, and 51 references
Date Published: January 1, 2000