Has the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Made Any Difference?
The provision was extremely controversial. Feminists were elated at this change in the formal definition of rape as a civil rights offense against women. To be successful, courts would have to see rape the way many equity and radical feminists did, that is, as a crime against women by definition. Conservatives thought it was an extreme case of sexual politics. Libertarian women’s rights organizations challenged the excessive use of federal authority. As it turned out, however, neither feminist advocates nor their opponents were able to see this new policy in action.