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Protecting Women from Domestic Dispute

Of the estimated two to four million women who are battered by intimates each year, only 572,000 cases file reports of assault to law enforcement officials. At least 170,000 of these violent incidents are serious enough to require hospitalization, emergency room attention, or a doctor's care.

Every year approximately 132,000 women report being a victim of rape or attempted rape. However, an overwhelmingly amount, two to six times those who do, are raped and never report it.

The Violence Against Women Act

In 1994, the United States Congress signed into law the Violence Against Women Act to help protect and support victims of domestic abuse. The Act was a compromise of bills introduced by House Representative Pat Schroeder, D-CO, and by Senator Joe Biden, D-DE. VAWA defined a domestic violence misdemeanor as one in which someone is convicted for a crime “committed by an intimate partner, parent, or guardian of the victim that required the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.”

What it Does and Doesn't Do

VAWA constructed new penalties for gender-related violence and new grants programs to fund state initiatives that address domestic violence and sexual assault. The grants also funded battered women's shelters as well as the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Prior to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2000 that concluded that Congress did not have the power to do so, the act granted victims the right to sue their perpetrators in civil court to recover damages for their injuries.

If you have been the victim of domestic violence that involved a sexual assault, you do have the right to seek damages for your injuries from that assault. Women have to ability to sue their attackers in a rape or attempted rape.

An Appleton Sexual Assault Lawyer Can Help

Contact the Appleton sexual assault lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 800.472.9334 to speak to an attorney who will stand up for you.