Office on Violence Against Women | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Victimology

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice that works to reduce violence against women and administer justice for such crimes.

What is the Office on Violence Against Women?

Founded in 1995, the Office on Violence Against Women aims to provide federal leadership to reduce violence against women in all its forms. It’s a crucial part of the U.S. Department of Justice, working towards promoting justice and public safety.

Why is the OVW Necessary?

Violence against women is a serious issue, not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. Both in the shadows and in the light, countless women suffer various forms of violence. Accordingly, the need for an office that focuses specifically on this issue is of great importance. The OVW, therefore, serves a vital role in addressing and combating this problem.

What Does the OVW Do?

Above all, the Office on Violence Against Women works tirelessly to provide justice for victims of violent crimes. It strives to create and support comprehensive, cost-effective responses to these dreadful acts. Afterward, the office provides financial assistance to create programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Additionally, the OVW encourages entities to collaborate in order to respond to violence against women effectively. These can be law enforcement agencies, victim advocates, or community organizations. All in all, the OVW aims to make sure everyone works together for a common goal – reducing violence against women.

The Impact of the OVW on Criminal Justice

The OVW has a significant impact on the criminal justice system. It helps to shape policy and practices that ensure offenders are held accountable for their actions. Also, it provides resources to aid the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women.

For example, if a case of domestic violence comes to a court, the OVW might have provided training to the police officers who responded, the victim advocates who supported the survivor, or the prosecutors handling the case.

Furthermore, the OVW supports victims throughout the justice process. It funds services that help women to heal from their experiences, recover, and rebuild their lives. These might include support groups, counseling services, and legal assistance.


In conclusion, the Office on Violence Against Women plays a crucial role in the U.S. Department of Justice. By focusing on reducing violence against women and ensuring justice for victims, the OVW helps to create safer communities. Whether through policy creation, financial support, or promoting collaboration, the OVW stands as a beacon of hope for victims and a deterrent for offenders. It’s an important part of our mission to uphold justice and protect every citizen.

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Last Modified: 07/11/2023

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