Domestic Violence

Are federal programs helping to curb abuse?


Incidents of domestic violence have declined by more than half over the past two decades, according to U.S. Department of Justice crime surveys. Some attribute progress to the growth in shelters, more aggressive enforcement and laws such as the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which have poured billions of dollars into shelters, social services and training programs. But some victims' advocates say the Justice Department underestimates the problem and cite a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, which shows that more than 12 million adults suffer physical violence, rape or stalking each year. The confusion has left advocates, researchers, prosecutors and judges divided over the best ways to reduce intimate partner violence. Meanwhile, new technology such as GPS and social media have made ...

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