The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law enacted in 1994 to improve the criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The reauthorization of VAWA (2000, 2005, and 2013), along with the the Campus SaVE Act and the Jeanne Clery Act, have worked together to improve the safety of college campuses and enhance the outlook for abuse victims.

"No More" is a Public Service Announcement encouraging individuals to speak out against sexual and domestic violence. If you see it happening, help her, don't blame her. Click the image above to watch the PSA.

Impact on UM:

All institutions are charged with adopting the following VAWA requirements:

  • A statement that the institution prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking
  • A clear definition of what constitutes domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the applicable jurisdiction
  • A definition of consent in regards to sexual activity, in the applicable jurisdiction
  • Safe and positive options for bystander intervention in order to prevent or intervene when there is a risk of sexual violence or stalking against another individual
  • Information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior or how to avoid potential attacks

University of Miami Violence Against Women Policy
The University of Miami is committed to maintaining a safe and secure work and academic environment, free of any form of sexual misconduct, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sexual harassment. A violation of the Violence Against Women Act shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.

Take Action
Click on a link below to learn how more about Sexual Violence on campus

Sexual Violence Defined
What You Need to Know
How to File a Complaint

Sexual Violence Defined
Relationship Violence
Relationship Violence includes Domestic Violence and Dating Violence. Domestic violence consists of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the intimate party and can take the form of assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. Dating violence is violence committed by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Sexual Assault
The University considers sexual assault to be the most serious form of sexual harassment. It is defined as non-consensual, oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by or union with the sexual organ of another or by any other object. It also includes non-consensual sexual touching (fondling) or intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals.

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used.

Consent is defined as intelligent, knowing, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific activity and shall not be construed to include submission obtained by force, intimidation, threat, blackmail, extortion, or any other method of coercion. Giving in is not the same as giving consent.

What You Need to Know
Recognize and Avoid Abusive Behavior Such As:

  1. Frequent yelling directed at a partner
  2. Blaming partner for own faults
  3. Name calling
  4. Consistently accusing partner of infidelity
  5. Kicking, holding, slapping, or scratching
  6. Frequent yelling directed at a partner
  7. Forcible sex
Bystander Intervention:

OFFER SUPPORT if you suspect that the person is being abused or has been sexually assaulted or stalked.
SPEAK OUT against all forms of sexual violence.
BE AN ADVOCATE for preventing sexual violence.
MODEL the behavior that values respect for others and promotes positive pro-social behavior.

Retaliation means any adverse action taken against an individual for making a good faith report of Prohibited Conduct or participating in any investigation or proceeding under this policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this policy.

VAWA Brochure