Office on Violence Against Women Law and Legal Definition

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is a U.S. federal agency that provides national leadership in developing the nation's capacity to reduce violence against women. It is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. The OVW helps in coordinating and implementing the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA is a federal law designed to combat violence against women by mandating stiffer penalties for perpetrators, improving police response in cases of domestic violence, and allocating funds for prevention and victims’ services.

The OVW was created in 1995. It administers financial and technical assistance to U.S. communities that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The OVW oversees many federal grant programs. Currently, it administers 17 discretionary grant programs and two formula grant program, which were established under VAWA and subsequent legislation.