Talking Points: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

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BACKGROUND: VAWA passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a straight party-line vote – 10 Democrats for the bill, and eight GOP against it. The bill will come before the full Senate as soon as Democrat leadership has enough votes to guarantee its passage (or the Democrats think they can make an issue out of a “war against women” if the bill does not pass).  Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered an amendment in the Judiciary Committee that would have solved some of the problems associated with the bill, but the Democrats did not even consider the amendment.

NOTE: The left always titles things in such a way as to place those who oppose it on the defensive.For example: “pro-choice,” not “pro-abortion”; CEDAW – end discrimination against women; VAWA – end violence against women.It is hard to oppose such positive-sounding proposals without seeming heartless.

IMPORTANT DISTINCTION: Decent people are outraged at any physical abuse/battering of women, but decent people are ALSO outraged at false accusations, a rush to judgment, hidden agendas, and when a bill creates a climate of suspicion where all men are feared/viewed as violent and abusive and where all women are considered victims.

1. Boondoggle: VAWA is a boondoggle for feminist groups (follow the money).

James Taranto, in a Wall Street Journal article, called feminism a “totalitarian ideology” (pushes anti-family policies, gender quotas, abortion-on-demand).

VAWA funds go to organizations that “re-train” judges and other officials in “women’s rights,” instead of addressing the major problems of battered women who end up in emergency rooms.

2. Bureaucratic nightmare: Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent to establish a vast expansion of government programs.

VAWA doesn’t address the 30 items on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) list of risk factors for “intimate partner violence (IPV)”.The CDC’s risk factors include out-of-control anger, drug addiction, alcohol abuse – all common, easily recognized problems that precipitate violent, abusive behavior.

Instead of rehabilitation programs that address these issues, VAWA promotes a feminist agenda.

VAWA programs are riddled with fraud, financial irregularities, etc.

3.Targets wrong women: There is no “war against women” – women can claim nebulous “psychological harm” or “coercive personality.”

VAWA neglects the real victims that end up in emergency rooms battered and nearly dead.

Stats on violence remain roughly equal between men and women (6.4 percent vs. 6.3 percent).

Most violence against women is from “boyfriend” (often a succession of them) not husbands or fathers (62 percent is boyfriend violence).

4. Failed program – ineffective

Even Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the bill just passed on a party-line vote, thinks the bill “tries to protect too many people.”

Family violence expert, “No evidence that VAWA has led to a decrease in violence against women.”

5. Morphed into a rigid, inhumane law enforcement tool (restraining orders, arrests, etc.).

  • VAWA hurts and denigrates men.
  • It promotes idea that women don’t need men (i.e., don’t need a “piece of paper,” need to get rid of men and be independent, stand on our own feet, get legal status).
  • VAWA offers “re-training” programs for judges and law enforcement, teaching them about “women’s rights.”
  • Feminists like to accuse “controlling communities” (military and conservative, religious families) as being MOST abusive, something the facts definitely prove is a falsehood.Religious families are happiest and least likely to be abusive, and the military promotes honorable behavior – but the feminists continue to promote the opposite as truth.

Quotes from Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute:

“VAWA pushes an ideology of women’s rights instead of ending intimate partner violence.”

“VAWA is more about building feminist power structures than about protecting vulnerable women or helping battered women.”

“VAWA is a failed program that has created a climate of suspicion against men and a situation in which men are arrested on flimsy excuses, while women have their legal fees paid, enabling them to get a divorce, keep the man out of his house and away from his children, often fired from his job, alienated from his friends and community, and assumed guilty until he is able to somehow prove he is innocent.  Even if the woman retracts her testimony against him, he has to face the charges, foot the bills, and suffer the consequences.”