Puerto Rico's Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention Law and the United States Violence Against Women Act of 1994: The Limitations of Legislative Responses
40 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009 Last revised: 10 Apr 2010
Date Written: September 1, 1995
This article describes in detail two recently enacted statutory efforts to address intimate partner violence against women: Puerto Rico's Domestic Violence Law, ("Law 54"), and the United States federal Violence Against Women Act of 1994 ("VAWA"). Law 54 is one of the most advanced legal efforts globally to address domestic violence through comprehensive legislative and social reform. The gender-biased perception and attitudes of those charged with enforcing Law 54, however, are conspicuous and pervasive, limiting its impact on women's lives, autonomy, and independence. The Violence Against Women Act similarly seeks to address domestic violence in the United States by encouraging increased social services, and law reform grounded in focusing on the obstacles women face in accessing services and legal assistance. This Article proposes that effective legislation must recognize each woman individually and her entitlement to full participation in society as an equal.
Keywords: latinas, latinos, hispanics, domestic violence, puerto rico, legislation, violence against women act, civil rights
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