What’s Wrong with the Violence Against Women Act?

The political fight on Capitol Hill over the Violence Against Women Act has little to do with the central debate feminists and academics are having about whether better policing is the best way to stopping domestic violence

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Sara Naomi Lewkowicz

Shane, an Ohio man, pins his then-girlfriend Maggie against a counter during a domestic violence incident that took place in November 2012. Shane later pleaded guilty to domestic violence and was sentenced to nine months in prison. Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz documented the violence between Shane and Maggie as part of a photojournalism project.

When Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, it was a landmark in federally recognizing the scourge of domestic violence. It also brought about a very practical change, meant to address the problem of cops treating such cases as private family matters instead of serious crimes. With grant funding as reward and with the backing of many leaders in the battered women’s movement, VAWA encouraged states to adopt mandatory arrest policies that allowed domestic violence cases to move forward without the cooperation of victims. Eighteen years later, with a reauthorization of VAWA now stalled on Capitol Hill, a vocal group of researchers and advocates are questioning whether VAWA’s original intent—to make law enforcement the primary tool to stop domestic violence—was the right approach. “VAWA’s focus on law enforcement reduces the really more complicated thing of violence against women to be a problem of the law,” says Beth E. Richie, a sociologist and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who studies violence against women. “And it’s not just a problem of the law.”

VAWA has increased prosecution rates of domestic violence cases, but there is little conclusive evidence that it has significantly reduced the incidence of violence. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the rate of intimate partner violence dropped 64% between 1994 and 2010, a drop pro-VAWA policymakers largely attribute to the law. But this decrease happened at the same time violent crime as a whole fell dramatically nationwide, making it hard to know whether a drop in domestic violence might have happened without the policies adopted under VAWA.

(PHOTOS: Photographer as Witness: A Portrait of Domestic Violence)

Domestic violence is still a severely under-reported crime and some critics say mandatory arrest policies have exacerbated this problem. These policies, which existed in some states before VAWA but became more common after early versions of VAWA encouraged them, require police officers responding to domestic violence calls to arrest alleged abusers if there is probable cause to believe assaults have taken place. The intent of these laws was to spur a culture change in law enforcement, which had a long history of declining to intervene in domestic violence situations. But some say mandatory arrest discourages some women from reporting domestic violence because they fear their partners—sometimes a family’s sole earner—will be automatically arrested and thrown in jail.

Domestic violence victims who avoid calling the police or seeking other help can put themselves in even more danger. A 2007 Harvard study found that the rate of intimate partner homicide is higher in states that have mandatory arrest laws on the books. Paradoxically, it appears VAWA may have had a much greater effect on the rate of women killing their partners (down 40% between 1995 and 2008) than on men killing their partners (down just 7% in the same period). Women may be less likely to kill their partners when an aggressive police response is readily available, but it appears the threat of arrest and prosecution has done little to dissuade abusive men from killing. In addition, in some cases, victims themselves are taken into police custody because of mandatory arrest laws. Police on the scene may not be able to determine who is the primary aggressor in a violent episode and may feel compelled to arrest both parties if they have probable cause.

Some feminist researchers have another reason to criticize mandatory arrest laws: They say the policies do nothing to address the causes of intimate partner violence, which is highly correlated with unemployment and economic distress. Even worse, these researchers say, mandatory arrest laws remove the preferences of abused women from a process that can leave them financially strapped and worried that the state will take custody of their children. “When you institute a mandatory arrest policy, the hope is that you will control the police and make sure they respond,” says Donna Coker, a former battered women’s shelter worker and now a law professor at the University of Miami. “But too often, it has the unintended consequence of increasing the potential for state control of marginalized women.”

(MORE: One Billion Rising: An End to Violence Against Women)

Coker believes some of the VAWA funding now allocated to law enforcement should be redirected to prevention, job training and services that help women with the logistics of leaving their abusive partners. “You look at the relatively miniscule amount of money going to transitional housing compared to criminal justice and it’s outrageous,” says Coker. Federal funds authorized through VAWA for transitional housing in 2012 were about one-fifth the total allocated for law enforcement action. Housing is by far the most common unmet need for victims.

Leigh Goodmark, a law professor and director of the family law clinic at the University of Baltimore, has represented abused women in court for two decades and says VAWA is blind to the needs of victims who want abuse to stop, but don’t want to permanently separate from their partners. “As a movement, we’ve been ambivalent about these women,” says Goodmark, author of the new book A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Law. Coker and Goodmark are among a group of academics who advocate allowing some domestic violence victims to have options beyond just automatic arrests and prosecution of their abusers. These ideas include restorative justice, which focuses on repairing harm caused by violence, counseling services for victims and batterers, and orders of protection that might allow partners to still have contact.

This kind of advocacy makes lawyers like Dorchen Leidholdt, legal director for Sanctuary for Families, a New York City organization that provides legal and social services for domestic violence victims, nervous. “I worry about sending the signal to law enforcement that domestic violence should be treated differently from other forms of crime,” she says. Such an approach could turn back time, says Leidholdt, to the days when police officers responding to a domestic violence incident would merely tell a batterer to cool off and walk around the block.

Queens County, NY, where Leidholdt has represented domestic violence victims in court, has the highest domestic violence conviction rate of any borough in New York City. The head of the domestic violence unit in the district attorney’s office there, Scott Kessler, prosecutes cases using many of the ideas embodied in VAWA. His unit receives about $325,000 a year in VAWA grant funding, which helps prosecutors build domestic violence cases without victim cooperation. Kessler says less than 25% of domestic violence victims cooperate in his cases, so he relies on evidence like 911 calls, digital photographs taken by police at the scene and recordings of telephone calls accused batterers in jail make to their victims in violation of protective orders. “It’s a chess match,” says Kessler. “I need to think one step ahead.”

(MORE: Shaima Alawadi’s Murder: A Hate Crime Against Women?)

The current political fight over VAWA, while not centered on the law enforcement focus of the law, illustrates the difficulty of passing nuanced federal legislation that can target the specific needs of communities and victims. A 2013 reauthorization of VAWA, which passed with broad bipartisan support in the Senate, is stalled in the House in part because of Republican opposition to a new provision that would apply to Native American victims of rape and domestic violence. (Other contentious provisions would apply to gay, transgender and immigrant victims.) The Senate version, which the House may soon pass , would allow tribal courts to try non-Native alleged abusers and rapists, which some Republicans say is unconstitutional. The needs of Native American women, who experience rape and domestic violence at rates much higher than the general population, are not met by VAWA in its current form, according to those who support the tribal courts provision.

Other communities may also be left behind or even harmed by VAWA. Richie, the University of Illinois professor, has written extensively about how law enforcement affects communities of color and says economic empowerment might do far more to curb domestic violence in poor black neighborhoods than the policies in VAWA. “When it becomes the only thing we do and it takes so much lobbying and research attention, it does harm other strategies,” says Richie.

Kim Gandy, president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, which is lobbying hard to reauthorize VAWA, says it’s clear why the legislation focuses so squarely on law enforcement. VAWA was originally part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, one of a series of “tough on crime” laws enacted in the 1990s when the violent crime rate in the U.S. was four times higher than it is now. “We’re lucky it’s got something beyond law enforcement money,” says Gandy, a former prosecutor. Every year, more than $100 million in VAWA funding is devoted to non-law enforcement priorities, including transitional housing, special assistance for victims in rural communities and the disabled, and civil legal assistance. “We’re not looking to shift money from law enforcement to services,” says Gandy. “We’re just looking for more money for both.”

MORE: Where Was ‘Stand Your Ground’ for Marissa Alexander

44 comments
mcoke
mcoke

three words - borderline personality disorder

NoahCalderon
NoahCalderon

This law or even suggested relocated area of funding to help educate abused women says nothing of the many men who support there family and want a good marriage but are taken advantage of by their wives and even verbally and emotionally terrorized by their wife and feel just as trapped as an abused woman because he knows the system (divorce) will financially destroy him and give all to her.

This attitude of "man up" and deal with it when it comes to domestic violence and terror need be thrown out and a realization of true equality need be brought into effect. Research for yourself and honestly try an say the system isn't geared toward helping women only!

malangrad
malangrad

More crap, more unnecessary laws, yet another protected minority that actually isn't a minority or in need of special protection.  Being abused?  Get up, get your stuff and LEAVE.  Get your kids, get a job, get a divorce and get over it.

markw571
markw571

"What’s Wrong with the Violence Against Women Act?

.

There are already laws against violence that apply to both sexes, all races and all humans. Congress should stop pandering to the nuts that think some groups are special.

mariahasbarger
mariahasbarger

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lynnig
lynnig

Two months ago my husband and I (married 22 yrs) had an "animated argument". Im not proud of it, there was screaming and yelling, objects were thrown down stairs.   Neither of us physically or verbally threatened each other. My 16 yr old son was upset. He never saw us behave this way. He called 911.  I was ashamed and mortified having the police come to our house. I was crying, but I assured the police there was no abuse. The way this law works, It was assumed I was lying because I am afraid of my husband. My husband taken off to jail in handcuffs, I asked how I can bail him out, no I cant do anything.  He gets his name in the local papers, Now we are paying thousands of dollars in legal fees. I can assure you, I am not a victim.

I take responsibility for our horrible behavior that made my son call 911. I am deeply ashamed of that, and we apologized to my son. I am a nurse, I understand the reason behind this law, but if this can happen to me, how many other innocent people are dragged into this net? What if my husband and I were going through an acrimonious split. His wrongful arrest would give ridiculous advantage to his partner.

Maybe my nightmare is just an isolated freak by product of this law. But my opinion has changed. I think there is huge business being generated by this law. Very disillusioned!

deborahjean
deborahjean

I am in college and have been writing papers on intimate partner violence and mandatory reporting laws for three years. I was a silent victim for 20 years and I feel that there is a need for it to be addressed but not in this fashion. 

It is fine if you are talking about domestic violence as a whole but every circumstance is different. Advocates for VAMA will say to repeal it would take abused "people" a step backwards. I say the Act does just that. The report given to the house and the senate, on the percentage of allocations; is ridiculous. Fifty-one percent of the funds go to specialized training for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges. The funds finally trickle down to the ones that need it most, the victims. Even though they state, they are going to allocate funds for shelters and support groups and facilities are at the top of the report; they are the last to receive help.

The American Medical Association has written report after report about how mandatory reporting has hindered their care for patient/victim. Not to mention the victims that never seek help because the trust and confidence in the medical profession has been broken.

What really kills me, is that the Futures Against Violence Group backed this Act. I have used many publications from this group to lobby against mandatory reporting laws in the past. I cannot understand how in instances of IPV, they do not call for change.



spenone
spenone

All the VAWA has done for me is distrust this government 100%.  What they are doing is criminal.  So many innocent men are being prosecuted because of this bull crap law.


spenone
spenone

The courts drop A Misdemeanors to B Misdemeanors so this way they can have a bench trial securing a conviction of the innocent!

MarkGraebner
MarkGraebner

The very name of the law screams unconstitutional, violating the (14th) equal protection under the law amendment.

shariles
shariles

Our country now has industries which we once called 'systems'. Know that all of the so called "officers of the courts" from law enforcement to federal courts and all the players in between are racketeering the most traumatized and weak of our population. 

For everyone reading that doesn't think or even knows that domestic violence isn't on your life's agenda, know that medically induced violence via the drugs and procedures heart patients, stroke patients, dementia patients endure is very common. And laws, marital rights, legal papers will not protect your family as there are experienced jackals waiting to pounce on your family's hardships. 

The financial and physical abuse of our elders and younger disabled people is often perpetrated by the ones we seek help from. "Domestic Violence shelters and advocates", doctors, lawyers and courts are preying on those who have assets. Assets which can include your children, and your very lives. 

Law enforcement as many people's first contact are now in the habit of calling crimes 'civil matters' forcing people into incredibly expensive civil court costs which are worked to not produce any results except to strip family assets to the bones. 

I have been seeking audit materials from how the officers of the courts benefit off of the VAWA and other funding received by them. Having been thoroughly rolled by seven attorneys heralded as 'hall of famers' for the 'pro bono works protecting women and children' and having all my family's assets stolen through criminal actions and witnessing these same 'hall of famers'  bending over backwards to PROTECT AND AID AND ABET the criminals and all their outrageous crimes against myself and family has been almost too perverted to survive. 

After seven years of being involved with the most threatening and abusive gangs anyone could have after them-the courts and all the officers of the courts-including the totally bogus domestic violence  'advocates' my home and business property was recently auctioned off.  From being a normal frugal happy person with dreams, paid off assets, husband to being worked to almost the death by those recieving taxpayer funds and applause from the community for being such 'protectors of women and children'.

My husband dead, all our assets stolen, home foreclosed on... compared with others' stories I guess I am lucky to be alive and able to 'move on' with absolutely nothing. Fraud, forgeries, Title fraud and theft, Notary fraud, perjury, fraud upon the courts, vehicle thefts, money stolen out of lawyer involved illegally converted accounts using a dead man's ATM, stolen guns-all crimes of which I have not been able to achieve any actions upon or recourse at all. NONE. 

So all you boomers out there? Beware with all you involve with estate planning. NEVER sign a DNR. Anyone with domestic abuse-check out and see if your local 'shelter' has a bunch of lawyers on its board. The local shelter's affiliated 'counseling' was mainly interested in those willing to be 'clinically diagnosed' and medicated.   Reporting crimes involving your children can get them taken away. From YOU. Sick spouse? Expect that there are packs of jackals within your own families and totally in the 'officers of the courts' probably double dipping claiming you as a 'pro bono' when they want your fees paid up front with cash.





DB_12
DB_12

There are many forms of violence against women that are devastating to their lives. A lot of violence is perpetrated through the family courts, and this includes family courts. Many women seeking to separate from or to divorce violent partners can find themselves the victims of horrific financial and other abuse through the courts. Uneducated/uninformed or biased judges frequently  become agents of violence and their courtroom are used to  legally abuse women. In family courts judges often tend to apply no fault and equal fault without any reflection or consideration. There have been several recent articles indicating that this type of violence is growing. In the US it is almost at epidemic levels as violent abusers tie up the courts in order to continue to abuse their partners/victims.  For many women, the sense of betrayal is great. Courts and judges are "supposed" to be places where they can seek safety, and instead courtrooms have become unsafe for women and judges aid the abuse. Such actions can also be against men too, but this discussion focuses on women, and legal violence perpetrated on women is severe and extensive.

cycleracer
cycleracer

As a male victim of domestic violence I find the title of this bill, and this article by Time, to be disgusting and bigoted. The article did, however, get one thing right: that there is a problem with under reporting of domestic violence. The reason for this is because male victims face the risk of losing their children, their house, and everything they have worked their entire life for to their abuser, who will simply use America's male-hating family courts as a weapon for further abuse. It is sad that the act cannot be provided with a gender-neutral name and provisions to ensure that the application is gender-neutral as well. Whatever happened to "equal protection under the law"? One would have thought that America moved passed such bigotry long ago, but apparently not. The only thing that has changed is the class of victims - the hatred remains the same.

ErinDrake
ErinDrake

This law has always been a bunch of crap, not because it's intent wasn't good but because police arrest the victims of the abuse.  If the victim fights back, they get arrested. Not very encouraging if you want victims to call for help. Everyone makes berates abused woman and says stupid crap to them like "why don't you just leave" or " call the cops." Guess what!? The cops almost never do anything and even if they do they arrest the victim too. Sometimes then the DHS (or cps) comes in a says you're unfit for being a victim and takes your kids away or at the least makes you participate "willingly" (actually forced under duress) to participate in their communist family programs. You can't say anything to doctors or counselors because they are all government tattles tales so there is no professional you can go to save perhaps a priest (which isn't likely to do any good sorry) that won't leak out all you say to some government agency about it. Not likley to tell your commie government spy about the abuse your kids put up with since they are just gonna call the cops and or DHS (cps) on you. Even if counseling would help them it doesn't matter because most people can't afford it and if they get some kind of charity they have to wait on waiting lists and the counselor really doesn't have any answers anyways. 

Another reason this law does nothing is because judges pay no attention to their cases they blame the victims and give abusers slaps on the hand. They issue bogus orders of "protection" that don't do anything to protect and they are never good towards the children so the abuser gets to come pick up the kids and have visits anyways and them probably find a way to harass or assault the victim again. The police and courts NEVER arrest people who break the order. In addition their punishments are so unreasonably light it's disgusting men who hospitalized their wives three times only get 30 days in jail? If a woman though fends of her attacker and gives him a bruise she gets slapped with a 1 year jail sentence?  What kind of justice is that? Guess why that happens? Sexism in courts. Most of the lawyers are men and most of the judges are men and they hate independent woman who use their God given right to defend themselves against male violence. Men hate women who are strong, independent or God forbid aggressive and hit back!!!!! 

Poverty is NOT the cause of abuse, rich people abuse women all the time, poverty is the cause of women not being able to leave abusive men. Welfare is a joke it doesn't help people afford anything, and it does no one any good, all the rules are old and don't keep pace with social changes, reality or cost of living. Daycare is too expensive and all the daycare aid is just a joke too. Women with young kids just can't afford to work and it makes no difference because there's no good jobs for women and the minimum wage is a joke. ALL of the women I know including myself who live with abusers say the same thing "I can't afford to live on my own so I don't leave." Perhaps they ought to give 100% of the money for that fund to house abused women.

Here's another suggestion keep the mandatory arrest but don't allow them to arrest the victim and if they honestly aren't sure leave the least strong at home with the kids, and only go for arrest if they can present clear evidence the other person hit first if not DROP IT already. All the states do is arrest as many innocent people as possible so they can make millions of dollars off of their fines, fees and court costs. They don't care if these women get killed . Another suggestion get rid of the fines and fees associated with abuse crimes this way the state has no interest in arresting innocent people for money. Third suggestion make violation of a no contact order by the ABUSER a mandatory 90 or more days in jail no exceptions!! Seriously you guys think this crappy crummy law does anything, nope and I dare say I bet any of the perceived decrease in abuse is actually from a lack of reporting because the women are too afraid to call lazy callus cops who think it's funny women get beat up.

I'm so sick of everyone getting this wrong.


NTFESDV
NTFESDV


·VAWA reflects a shared understanding that combatting domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking requires a multi-pronged approach.

·Contrary to what the article states, mandatory arrest provisions were removed from VAWA at its first reauthorization in 2000 and replaced with pro-arrest policies based on probable cause.

·In fact, our progress with each VAWA reauthorization has been to continue to improve the criminal justice system response, extend civil legal protections, and increase access to services and informed system responses to more victims, particularly those who have been documented to be undeserved or especially vulnerable.

·For example, provisions that include LGBT survivors of violence follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, which found in its January 2013 report that, “A critical need exists for LGB victims of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking. In order to address the burden of domestic violence among this population, laws that protect victims of domestic violence could explicitly include members of the LGB community.''[1]  

·And with each reauthorization, VAWA has become more and more focused on encouraging a full range of holistic, victim-centered responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

·Recent VAWA-related enhancements have included a stronger focus on housing services, primary prevention, services for children and youth, and health initiatives, all seen as important complements to the critical criminal and civil justice remedies of the initial 1994 VAWA reauthorization.

·VAWA is also complemented by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), which provides core funding to States, Territories and Tribes for essential emergency shelter, advocacy and counseling services that help victims access protections and recover from the trauma of domestic abuse. The Sexual Assault Services Program, a VAWA program, and the Rape Prevention and Education Program, administered by CDC, provide equally critical support to sexual assault programs and the victims they serve.

·VAWA has contributed to a significant reduction in domestic violence. Between 1994 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence decreased by 64 percent.[2] From 1980 and 2010, there has also been a steep decline in intimate partner homicides.[3] These sharp declines have been attributed, in part, to changes in attitudes about the acceptability of abuse and the increased ability of victims to leave abusive relationships, factors facilitated by VAWA.[4]

·At the same time, targeted homicide reduction efforts are part of this 2013 reauthorization specifically because we know that an average of 3 women a day are killed in this country by an intimate partner.

As James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University, has asserted, “Despite the improvements in the rate of domestic violence, non-lethal and lethal, far too many victims continue to suffer in abusive relationships. As a society, we have a long way to go before we can claim mission accomplished is our efforts to prevent intimate partner violence.”[5]

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_SOfindings.pdf

[2] Catalano, S. (2012, November). Intimate Partner Violence, 1993 – 2010. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipv9310.pdf.

[3] Puzzanchera,C, Chamberlain,G & Kang,W. Easy Access to the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports: 1980-2010, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2012) at http://ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/; U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates: Historical Data, at http://www.census.gov/popest/data/historical/.

[4] See Zimring, F. (Feb/March 2013). On the Meaning and Limits of Good News From the National Crime Victimization Survey. Domestic Violence Report. Civic Research Institute.

[5]See Fox, J.A. (11/2012). “Intimate Partner Violence: Down but far from out.” At: http://boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/2012/11/intimate_partner_violence_down.html

BethDennis
BethDennis

According to a Harvard University study, when states enact mandatory arrest policies, the intimate partner homicide rate increases by 57%. (Source: Iyengar R. Does the certainty of arrest reduce domestic violence? Evidence from mandatory and recommended arrest laws. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007.) This proved true in my state, where they had a mandatory arrest law; the homicide rate rocketed. Is that how the government supports women? By wanting them dead?

2camaeb
2camaeb

time to start chopping of some penis's

sjbookmd
sjbookmd

"a vocal group of researchers and advocates are questioning whether VAWA’s original intent—to make law enforcement the primary tool to stop domestic violence—was the right approach."

So what is the argument of this article, that the law isn't the perfect cure, it only does a little bit, so therefore it was not worthwhile?  We should do nothing?

Stupid.  Stupid article, stupid argument, stupid journalist, stupid editor.  There is no ONE thing that will prevent domestic violence.  You know what?  There is no ONE thing that will reduce the deficit.  There is no ONE thing that will stop drunk driving.  There is no ONE thing that will cure cancer.  The world is a complex place, so any answer to any problem will not be one magic pill.  Because the causes of these problems are myraid, the solutions will need to be multi-faceted. 

grape_crush
grape_crush

> Other communities may also be left behind or even harmed by VAWA. Richie, the University of Illinois professor, has written extensively about how law enforcement affects communities of color and says economic empowerment might do far more to curb domestic violence in poor black neighborhoods than the policies in VAWA. “When it becomes the only thing we do and it takes so much lobbying and research attention, it does harm other strategies,” says Richie.

Then let's not make it the only thing that is being done, shall we? No need to make the perfect be the enemy of the good.


lekat
lekat

As a victim of domestic violence for over 10 years in the 1980's I feel this law is very important.  There was no law back then and whenever I called the police my husband would take the spark plugs out of my car and leave.  The police  just said there was nothing they could do and just leave.  My husband threatened to kill me if I left.  Looking back I think 'victim syndrome' took hold of me where I felt disempowered and lost what little self esteem I had.  Having the police arrest the abuser sends a message to them that what they do is wrong and unacceptable in our society. Most important it removes the abuser to prevent further violence and allows the victim time to process options.  In summary, I feel that this law along with a 'transition' program to provide social and legal support for the victim is very important to address this issue.  Ultimately a severe tragedy enabled me to leave my then husband though I lost nearly everything.   Almost none of my peers or family knows of my hell as I was too embarrassed to bring it up at the time, as my then husband continuously rationalized his violence as being caused by myself.  I am a different person now, though this law would have saved a large chunk of my life back then. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

To counter:

Why the Violence Against Women Act Matters

Programs funded by VAWA have dramatically improved the national response to domestic violence. The Violence Against Women Act’s emphasis on a coordinated community response to domestic violence has resulted in a significant shift in the way communities – including law enforcement, the courts and victim services – address violence against women. The Violence Against Women Act has improved the criminal justice system’s ability to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable. Every state has enacted laws making stalking a crime and strengthened criminal rape statutes. And, according to the Justice Department, the annual incidence of domestic violence has fallen more than 60 percent since 1993.  

Since VAWA was originally enacted, reporting of domestic violence has increased as much as 51 percent. More victims are coming forward and receiving lifesaving services to help them move from crisis to stability. The 2011 National Census of Domestic Violence Services conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence found that 67,399 victims were served by domestic violence programs around the country on one day.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

For Republicans?  It extends protection to the LGBT community, Native Americans, and "Illegals".  Plain and simple.

getgovernmentoutofourlives
getgovernmentoutofourlives

@lynnig  this has happened to more people then what the research shows. My son and daughter, my daughter is 19 my son is 18 got into a pushing match and my son was arrested for "domestic violence". So we are experiencing the same issue. My son had NEVER been in trouble and is leaving for college. My daughter on the other hand has been hell on wheels! In the meantime we are spending "THOUSANDS" on his defense. Gee, you don't see any mention of issues like this with this crackpot law! Then not one "advocate" has talked to my daughter since my son was arrested. I looked at her and said "okay, you have the family ticked off with you, none of us support you, and where are your 911 buddy's" We need to take a stand!!!


BillMay
BillMay

@lynnig Hey..you women got what you wanted. Now you're complaining? Did you really think your husband wouldn't be arrested? Really? We men are the devil, didn't you know that? According to the radical feminists and our governments we are.


I shake my head at how naive some people are about all this. We men always get the crap end of the stick. Always. And it's women who do it. Bottom line. I hope you're all happy with yourselves.

gintare.petkute
gintare.petkute

@lynnig This law is not perfect, but the problem is so severe and complicated that there is no one law that can honestly please everyone. I think that for the most part it is good for the real victims to have such law by their side and that in time it should be adjusted better to meet the real needs of victims. The fact that you or any real victim has to pay "thousands of dollars in legal fees" is horrible and this should DEFENITELY change, though.

FrankWorley
FrankWorley

@bones.xpo929 Nothing will change until we change the system itself.  Get back to the basics of Liberty.  And even relocate if needed.  Check out 'A Puerto Rican Manifesto' on Kindle, a capitalist libertarian plan for partial independence in Puerto Rico.  Individual liberty, personal responsibility and a real right to privacy.

FrankWorley
FrankWorley

@shariles Like I said to the other guy above you, things won't change until we make changes.  Fundamental changes, return to individual liberty, less government.  When government protects you, government controls you. 

MarkGraebner
MarkGraebner

@urjustadumbass Notice that it doesn't protect men against domestic violence perpetrated by women. No accomplishment at all. A stinking pile of feces, maybe.

jsteele
jsteele

@DB_12  Yeah you haven't been to family court if that's what you think.  If family court judges abuse anyone it's the man.

MarkGraebner
MarkGraebner

@DB_12 Know this - you will never find safety at the hands of the state. In a emergency situation, when the state is too far away or out of reach, only your husband will put his life on the line for you.

JenniferBonin
JenniferBonin

@cycleracer  I sympathize with your situation and get what you're saying, and I agree that ANY abuse is wrong, regardless of gender.  But I also think it's pretty obvious why the bill is named what it is: because women are far more statistically likely to be the victim, and because they are less statistically likely to be able to escape or fight back physically successfully, due to their generally smaller size.  I realize that some women are bigger, stronger, and/or more aggressive than some men, and also that a small but determined person can still do significant damage.  But statistically, it's just a simple fact that men are far more likely to be a physical aggressor, and that women are far more likely to be the victim of a physical domestic attack.  I don't think it's wrong to recognize that, even though we ought to smack down woman-driven abuse as much as man-driven abuse.

billiegirlsoco
billiegirlsoco

honestly I see this as one more thing against heterosexual males... people don't look at these things for what they truly are...

BenLampson
BenLampson

@ErinDrake

I was the victim in every altercation with my ex-wife. She would attack me with everything she had. So I called the police on several of her violent outbursts that resulted in my injury, and when the cops came, they arrested me...everytime.

MarkGraebner
MarkGraebner

@2camaeb Uhhh... It's the fists you should be careful about. personally, I would love to beat you over the head with a tire iron for your stupidity and misogyny.

MarkGraebner
MarkGraebner

@sjbookmd This war on domestic violence is a misplaced effort. Instead of encouraging harmony, the state encourages hate. Instead of embracing the family, the state encourages divorce. It is impossible not to see the evil intentions of the creators of this law. The enforcers respond to the stimulus (money). Are you really expecting me to support this law with my tax dollars?

bacon
bacon

@sjbookmd I don't think that's what the article is trying to say.  But much like the War on Drugs, the bureaucracy in this country refuses to acknowledge that law enforcement as a primary tool for any problem is a flawed approach.

BenLampson
BenLampson

@lekat

At least the police didn't arrest you, the victim. I was the victim in every domestic altercation with my bi-bolar ex-wife, and I called the police, and they came and arrested me.....everytime.

Imagine going through what you had to go through, and then getting arrested after going through it. It is just a nightmare.

getgovernmentoutofourlives
getgovernmentoutofourlives

@gintare.petkute @lynnig I'm a trauma nurse, in a city hospital. It's rare I see domestic violence victims. So since it is so "severe" where are all the victims? Also, where is the help for the victim once the arrest occurs??? There isn't any, and if you think there is, once again you've fallen for government lies!


jsteele
jsteele

She meant she has to pay thousand of dollar to clear her husband's name.  @lynning this is exactly how the law is supposed to work.  It is supposed to put men and women against each other.   

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