Washington, D.C. – The so-called “War on Women” precipitated a vote in the Senate today on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Concerned Women for America (CWA) continues to oppose reauthorization because it has strayed far from its original purpose of protecting vulnerable women from abuse and violence.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, “Decent people are outraged at abuse of women, but VAWA is more about building feminist power structures than about protecting vulnerable women or addressing the major problems of battered women who end up in hospital emergency rooms. VAWA has morphed into a gender-baiting tool to promote a victim mentality and push anti-family policies. VAWA-funded programs are riddled with fraud and financial irregularities; the funded programs focus on gender sensitivity training programs for judges, ineffective restraining orders, and inhumane arrests on the flimsiest of unproved accusations.”
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) offered an alternative bill in the Judiciary Committee that would have solved some of the problems associated with VAWA, but the Democrats would not even budge and passed VAWA out of committee on a straight party-line vote. Trying to fix some of the problems with the Leahy bill, Senators Grassley and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) offered an alternative bill that would address some of the financial irregularities and hidden agendas that have plagued the programs funded by the legislation. This alternative, while an improvement, didn’t completely address all of CWA’s concerns with VAWA.
Shari Rendall, CWA Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, said, “The Leahy bill (S. 1925) is a profoundly flawed bureaucratic nightmare that has vastly expanded the federal government without making a dent in the problem of violence and abuse against women; there is no evidence that VAWA has led to a decrease in violence against women.”
CWA believes that more money should not be allocated to VAWA until duplicative, inordinately costly programs of questionable value in protecting vulnerable women are eliminated.
Crouse adds, “Doing the wrong thing – funding programs that are ineffective and make the problem worse – is a grave injustice to those vulnerable girls and women whom we are charged with protecting.”