Crouse Provides Testimony for Senate Judiciary Committee

Print Friendly

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Executive Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, provided written testimony on May 5, 2010, to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary during their hearing on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She explained, “‘Violence against Women’ is a general term used to refer to violent acts committed primarily or exclusively against women; it is a type of violence with the victim’s gender as the primary motive. The 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women included among the perpetrators, ‘assailants of either gender, family members and even the “State” itself.’ A women’s health journal described violence against women as a ‘system of socially constructed gender relationships that generate an imbalance of power between the sexes in which men are seen as superior. As a result, women – victims of discrimination and social inequality – are dominated by men, who exercise control over their bodies and decisions.’ Indeed, over the past 15-20 years, the women’s movement has used the issue of violence against women to increase their influence around the world.”

Dr. Crouse added, “When violence against women is viewed in this broad context, the numbers are skewed and the brutality of the actual battering of women is diluted. Violence is also diluted when psychological and verbal violence is thrown into the mix. As awful as these things are, they differ in magnitude from the physical battering that some women endure. Physical violence is not to be tolerated, and VAWA needs to focus on ending those crimes rather than broadening the definition of violence to the point of meaninglessness.”

Dr. Crouse concluded, “None of us likes to see anyone abused, and we all recoil at those situations where women and children are battered and assaulted. However, those who really want to help these women cannot continue to ‘add on’ to the list of abuses things that are regrettable and objectionable but not ‘abusive’ in the general use of the term. Instead, we must recognize those factors that social science research has identified that contribute to domestic violence situations and take the ‘gender’ politics and ‘politically-correct’ agenda out of the public policy solutions that we propose. Further, we must ensure that those programs that are funded really do help women, rather than merely increasing the federal bureaucracy and imposing further barriers between hurting women and those who are eager and qualified to help them.”

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

Leave a Reply