Tuesday, July 19, 2005

VAWA Debate Heightens

Senate hearings are being held today in reference to the reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act. The committee has refused to hear testimony of those against the act. There is a lot of news out there about this so what follows is an ad hoc synopsis of the latest (these are only excerpts from the articles, please click on the article title to read it in full):

FAMILY GROUPS ASSAIL SENATE VAWA HEARINGS :

Washington, DC., Jul. 18/05/TRC Media/ -- The upcoming Senate hearings on the Violence Against Women Act are drawing fire from a broad range of groups who charge the July 19 hearings will provide the Senate Judiciary Committee members with incomplete and biased information about the proposed law.

This past Friday those groups released a letter to the Judiciary Committee, calling for it to "receive testimony from a diversity of witnesses, including male victims of domestic violence, women who can testify to the harm VAWA has done to them and their families, and researchers whose work is based on scientific principles rather than ideology."

Women are also criticizing the proposed VAWA legislation. In her June 29 article Fox News columnist Wendy McElroy condemned the discriminatory nature of VAWA: "tax-funded domestic violence shelters and services assist women and routinely turn away men." And in her July 1 column, Kathleen Parker charged that VAWA has "demonized men and made women into martyrs and victims."

RADAR, a group concerned about domestic violence bias, recently released a report that concludes, "VAWA tramples on persons' basic human rights, undermines the family, and makes a mockery of fairness and justice." RADAR calls on lawmakers to "make sure VAWA helps all victims of domestic violence." (www.mediaradar.org/RADAR_Analysis_of_VAWA.pdf). Research shows that women are just as likely as men to commit domestic violence. "Family violence is an important social problem," Baskerville notes, "but ignoring male victims leaves half the problem unsolved."

VAWA: Information for Our Federal Public Policymakers :

The data below is not from some mens rights or anti womens rights group. In fact, the following data is on page 28 & 29 of the U.S. Department of Justice sponsored research report, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women.

The authors of this report inform our public policy makers that violence is more widespread and injurious to womens and mens health than previously thought an important finding for legislators, policymakers, and interventions planers.

Despite the reality of male victimization our public policy makers submit only the Violence Against Women Act that demonstrates little to no concern about the victimization of men.

Perhaps they just lack the facts. This is your opportunity to help them. Please FAX this to:
Arlen Specter FAX 1-202-228-1229
Orrin G. Hatch FAX 1-202-224-6331
Joseph R. Biden, Jr FAX 1-202-224-0139


It is not necessary that half of the victims be men in order for them to have access to equitable services and funding. Further, it is not necessary to minimize, marginalize or ignore male victimization in order to protect female victims from abuse.

Why Congress Must Reject VAWA :

Republicans will pass VAWA anyway --- because they haven't taken the time to develop solid pro-marriage social policy. In the short run, we must expect Republicans to require Senator Joe Biden to effect modifications making VAWA gender neutral. Republicans can vote for VAWA and the stand up for the 14th Amendment by insisting that the VAWA be made gender neutral. At minimum, funding must be provided to help men and children living in marriages where the wife is dangerous or abusive, as called for by the Safe Homes For Families and Children Coalition

VAWA is unconstitutional on its face --- just as unconstitutional as a Violence Against Whites Act would be. No court in America would permit the existence of a multi-billion-dollar federal program pretending that violence is solely a black-on-white issue and makes sure it always looks that way regardless of case facts. It is a long held tenet that law enforcement must be blind to race and sex except of course unless it has the letters VAWA in front of it.

The National Institute of Justice and the Center for Disease Control estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence each year. According to this NIJ/CDC survey, 37% of the domestic violence is against men. 100% of the federal domestic violence funding under the Violence Against Women Act is to be used for domestic violence against women. 100% of the federal domestic violence research funds disbursed to several federal agencies is devoted to domestic.

VAWA Renewal Provides Opportunity to Stop Destruction of Innocent Cops Careers :

Under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 individuals, including police officers and armed forces personnel, are prohibited from possessing a firearm if they are subject to a restraining order issued at the behest of a spouse or an intimate partner. The 1996 Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban expanded this prohibition to bar officers and service personnel from carrying weapons as part of their jobs. As a result, most police officers who are hit with restraining orders lose their careers.

Were restraining orders issued as a result of a reasonable proof of guilt, the two laws might make sense. However, according to Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Womens Bar Association, restraining orders are doled out "like candy" to virtually all who apply," and that "in virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had."

A study conducted by Massachusetts courts revealed that the majority of restraining orders did not even involve an allegation of violence. According to family law attorney Lisa Scott of Seattle, Washington, the woman saying she feels afraid' of her husband is usually enough. Men have no way to defend themselves against these accusations. Most judges grant restraining orders to any woman who applies for one, and often do so in an assembly-line fashion.

Former Torrance, California police officer John Brumbaugh recently won a seven-year legal battle after an ex-girlfriend falsely accused him of battery. Though Brumbaughs conviction was overturned and his name finally cleared, the false charges cost him his career as a police officer and several hundred thousand dollars in legal expenses and lost wages and benefits.

The Violence Against Women Act expires in September and legislation to renew it for five years was recently introduced by Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Arlen Specter (R-PA). In hearings beginning on July 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider various amendments to include in the laws reauthorization.

The Committee should repeal the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, and provide that men with restraining orders against them can still possess department-issued firearms for the purposes of their employment.

The principle of ensuring that police officers are of solid character is a good one. What is lacking in current law is a reasonable standard for punitive action. The findings of police department investigations and criminal convictions are reasonable standards. The issuance of restraining orders is not.

After the Facts, Domestic Violence Laws Still Discriminate Against Men :

The Return Of A Feminist Nutbar :

Did Phil Hartman Die from Congressionally-Sanctioned Discrimination?

Scream Queens Fuel Nightmarish VAWA System

Time to Dispose of Radical Feminist Pork :

If Republicans are looking for a way to return to their principles of limited government and reduced federal spending, a good place to start would be rejection of the coming reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. It's a mystery why Republicans continue to put a billion dollars a year of taxpayers' money into the hands of radical feminists who use it to preach their anti-marriage and anti-male ideology, promote divorce, corrupt the family court system, and engage in liberal political advocacy.

The act refuses to provide any help whatsoever for male victims of domestic violence. Let's hear from professor Martin Fiebert of California State University at Long Beach who compiled a bibliography of 170 scholarly investigations, 134 empirical studies and 36 analyses, which demonstrate that women are almost as physically abusive toward their partners as men.

The act encourages women to make false allegations, and then petition for full child custody and a denial of all fathers' rights to see their own children.

The act promotes the unrestrained use of restraining orders, which family courts issue on the woman's say-so. This powerful weapon (according to the Illinois Bar Journal) is "part of the gamesmanship of divorce" and virtually guarantees that fathers are expelled from the lives of their own children.

A woman seeking help from an act-funded center is not offered any options except to leave her husband, divorce him, accuse him of being a criminal and have her sons targeted as suspects in future crimes. The Violence Against Women Act ideology rejects joint counseling, reconciliation and saving marriages.

It's time to stop the act from spending any more taxpayers' money to promote family dissolution and fatherless children.

Also, Silly Seattle always has lots to say about VAWA. Other posts on this blog is reference to VAWA can be seen here, here, and various entries on this page.

Finally, though I am reticent to do this as I don't feel you should have to ascribe to one political ideology or the other in order to see how screwed up our government is in its treatment of men and families, a new site has been established called DROP the GOP. On the site they currently are listing three issues: VAWA: A four-letter word that means tyranny, Stealing our Children for Profit and Drugging our Children by Force. Through the site (were you a confirmed Republican contributor) you can request a refund for all of you contributions and they provide the relevant links to do so. Here is the intro for their VAWA page:

One of our major concerns today is the introduction of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2005 by U.S. Senators Joe Biden (D-DE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA). This action conclusively proves that both of our major political are anti-family and hold no respect for our civil rights or the United States Constitution. There are no words strong enough to express both the heartbreak and outrage over this betrayal of the promises to uphold and protect our family values has caused.

It must be mentioned that most of the funding for VAWA goes to the Lawyers and Social Workers whose organizations support the DNC and their anti-family progressive agenda. The GOP's support of VAWA is in effect forcing Republicans to fund the very people and agenda we have worked so hard to vote out of Congress and the White House with our tax dollars. That is intolerable!

After eleven years as law, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has done little more than destroy families and fund social engineering schemes unrelated to intimate partner violence. This dysfunctional law leaves violent criminals free to abuse at will, but inflicts brutalities unworthy of a free society on innocent victims of false allegations of domestic violence.

The plain truth is VAWA is unconstitutional. Nothing in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States of America, including the Commerce Clause, authorizes the Congress to regulate and control personal relations between individuals. Further, the blatant and undeniable gender bias seen on the face of VAWA is discrimination against a subject class, men, in direct violation of Section 1 of Amendment XIV of the Constitution notwithstanding pious statements to the contrary by uninformed Senators.

Irrespective of your political leanings, there is a lot of good information on the site. If you are a disgusted contributor to the Republican party you might seriously consider requesting a refund. Sadly, it appears the only way to really get the attention of our legislators is to hit them in pocketbook.

Also, to contact the legislators directly:

Sen Joseph Biden, Delaware:
1105 N. Market St. Suite 2000 Wilmington, DE 19801-1233
Phone: 302-573-6345 Fax: 302-573-6351

Sen Orrin Hatch, Utah:
104 Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-5251 Fax: (202) 224-6331

Sen Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania:
711 Hart Building Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-4254 Fax: Fax: 215-597-0406

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