Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Sharyn Potter


In 1994 the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in the United States, and with it came a host of changes for the many cities and towns throughout the country which were granted federal funds in order to combat domestic violence.

Although these structural changes appear to have been successful, little empirical research has been conducted with the goal of accurately reporting what, if any, improvements have occurred within communities as a result of VAWA funding.

This research examines the impact of federal VAWA funds on two New Hampshire cities---Manchester, which has been receiving VAWA funding since 1995, the first year such funds were dispersed; and Nashua, which began receiving federal VAWA funds one and a half years ago, by comparing domestic violence case disposition rates, and by measuring whether or not police report writing style has a significant impact on domestic violence case outcomes in either Manchester or Nashua.