Domestic Violence Legislation Nationally

Congress’s commitment to improving the national response to domestic violence has made a difference for domestic violence victims. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) enacted by Congress in 1984 has been the lifeblood of core domestic violence programs, including shelters and outreach programs in communities nationwide. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), first authorized in 1994, was designed to improve criminal justice responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to increase the availability of services for victims of these crimes.  

The White House on VAWA

Domestic Violence Legislation Locally

The 2000 Alabama State Legislature passed key bills to improve the lives of women living in domestic violence. As a result

  • Domestic Violence as a Crime penalties were stiffened for repeat offenders and the sentences of abusers who violate a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order were doubled
  • And insurance companies were prevented from discrimination against victims of domestic violence.

In an effort to further improve the state’s response to domestic violence, the 2011 Alabama State Legislature made laws even tougher and through the provisions:

  • Interfering or disrupting a victim placing a 911 emergency phone call for help became a misdemeanor offense.
  • Domestic violence situations involving strangulation/suffocation were upgraded from misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses
  • Domestic violence third-degree criminal trespassing and domestic violence harassment became Class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail if found guilty 
  • And a third conviction of domestic violence became an automatic felony for the offender

Right now in the 2012-2013 Alabama Legislature we are continuing to support legislation that could potentially effect those that we serve.  

We are currently watching the following bills:  

Bill #



HB 156CLOUSECoalition Against Domestic Violence, appropriation, operations plan and audited financial statement required, quarterly and end-of-year reports required
HB 252MCCUTCHEONDomestic violence, shelters, domestic violence defined, operation and funding of domestic violence shelters, fee for divorce petition distributed to district attorneys for funding of domestic violence shelters, Secs. 30-6-1, 30-6-6, 30-6-7, 30-6-11 am'd.
SB 141SCOFIELDCapital offenses, murder of a person with a protection order issued against the defendant, included, Kelley's Law,
HB 253BARTONHuman trafficking, penalties enhanced for subsequent convictions, sex offenders

Remember it only takes a few moments to contact your Legislator and make a significant difference in the lives of domestic violence victims and their families.

Find your Alabama State Legislature here.