When people think of domestic violence they usually think of a situation where there is a man physically abusing a woman. However, there are situations where the roles have been reversed but these situations are rarely reported as men feel ashamed and will not admit that they are being abused by a woman. In addition, the abuse can be emotional, physical or financial abuse.

Domestic violence has been and will always be an issue in society as many people are scared to report their abuse. They might fear the consequences of reporting the abuse such as further abuse, or harm to their family and or children. As a result, they will stay with the perpetrator and endure further abuse.

The federal government recognized the need to help victims thus it has stepped in and has enacted VAWA in 1994. This Act was enacted under the Presidency of Bill Clinton, and it is aimed at preventing “violence against women combined with tough new provisions to hold offenders accountable with programs to provide services for the victims of such violence” according to a factsheet released by the White House.

Under VAWA, sexual offenders who have a history of committing sexual acts or crimes will face a higher penalty. Also, this Act creates a “rape shield law,” so at trial the offender is unable to introduce the victim’s sexual history with the aim of using it against the victim. Moreover, when it comes to Native Americans, the government is able to step in and arrest someone when there has been a domestic violence report, as long as there is probable cause for the arrest. There is also a National Domestic Violence Hotline where victims can call in and seek help.

The government is trying to bring awareness to domestic violence which can happen to both men and women. It wants everyone to work together to prevent further abuse, if possible. While many acts of domestic violence are unreported, the Violence against Women Act has encouraged more victims to step forward and report their abuse and to seek help.

If you are considering divorce, then you should consult with an experienced attorney. Jayson Lutzky has over 30 years of experience practicing law. He has an office located in the Bronx, New York and offers free in office consultations. To arrange a confidential consultation, call his office at 718-514-6619 or visit his website, www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.

The White House Fact Sheet can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.