Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, has been decreasing over the last decade. Some of this success is attributed to the Violence Against Women Act, which was drafted by then Sen. Joe Biden, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The Act established the Office of Violence on Women within the Department of Justice. At long last there was a central federal authority with resources and a central mission to stop this violent but silent epidemic.
So we have the Violence Against Women Act, and some success in bending the curve of violence. However that doesn’t mean that the issue is gone and we can move on. Far from it. In my interview with the Washington, DC office Director of Futures Without Violence, Kiersten Stewart, we discuss that we have seen progress in some groups, but the good news is mixed. Young people still experience high rates of violence which often goes unreported, or when it is reported, is not taken as seriously as it perhaps should be. The importance of involving men and boys in the prevention of interpersonal violence is discussed. We also discuss the warning signs for a violent or abusive relationship, and how to approach someone you suspect is in a dangerous relationship.
In this episode, we highlight the work of Lady Gaga in drawing attention to the issue of rape and violence on college campuses.