Joe Biden, the then Senator from Delaware, submitted to Congress a preliminary proposal to address the issue of violence against women and wrote VAWA.
Joe Biden, when he was the chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, proposed working on the bill because he was concerned about national attitudes about violence against women. He introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on June 20, 1990, and brought the issue of violence against women to the national stage. The legislation, co-authored by Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, was also backed by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican, and had the support of a coalition of women’s rights groups, including NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. The legislation turned into a bill after four years, in 1994.
VAWA changed law enforcement practices, improved the criminal justice system, and created a network of services for victims. The bill established new federal crimes of interstate domestic violence, and stalking doubled penalties for repeat sex offenders and sparked the passage of laws at the state level to protect victims.