Improving Services for Victims of Sexual Violence
Sexual Assault Services Program
The original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994 as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (P.L. 103-322). When the 109th Congress passed legislation in December 2005 to reauthorize VAWA, it created a new federal funding stream dedicated entirely to the provision of direct services for victims of sexual violence. The new Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) in the Services and Outreach Title of VAWA 2005 will also provide resources for state sexual assault coalitions that assist rape crisis centers.
Approximately 1,315 rape crisis centers nationwide provide critical support to victims in their recovery from sexual violence. Without a consistent and specialized funding stream for direct services, rape crisis centers are stretched to the limit — trying to meet increased demand for services with reduced government funding.
Support for Sex Trafficking Victims
Under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, non-citizens who have been severely victimized can remain in the U.S. (temporarily, and in some cases, longer) and are eligible to receive federal and state assistance. These individuals are in need of shelter and specialized counseling. RAINN supports efforts by the U.S. Departments of Justice (Civil Rights Division), Homeland Security (ICE), and Health and Human Services, to provide greater assistance to trafficking victims.