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

86 comments
BobFitzgerald
BobFitzgerald

This law needs to go. No law should contain any reference to gender if we are going to have "equal protection". Sexist groups, like all feminist groups these days, are state sanctioned bigotry. Feminist groups want equal pay and benefits, yet more power and less accountability. Women do not have to go through the same penalties for DV that men do. They do not get the same sentencing and can not be prosecuted for false reports. How does this happen in the US?

Bab
Bab

I am a victim of emotional psychological and financial abuse by my brother and 2 adult sons....brother smeared or defamed me for years...withheld portion of inheritance and diverted it to sons...I am 61 and having a terrible time getting legal or criminal investigation on this...am told I don't meet criteria of protected or endangered adult....though sons are telling me and everyone one else I'm crazy....there is a provision in this law that should apply to me...abuse in later life....but having trouble getting anyone to listen unless I pay hefty attorneys fees....

AlexWymore
AlexWymore

I've been reluctant to talk about my experience with VAWA, but after reading others' accounts, I feel it's an important subject. I was in an abusive relationship. When my wife was in a particularly foul mood, the cops were called to my house. Despite no evidence of wrongdoing on my part, they arrested me because I was a man and therefore presumed guilty under VAWA.

Many states have a policy that an arrest mist be made when the cops are called regardless of the actual situation. This helps get them federal funding, and they often collect a fee for the arrest as well. In my case, they tacked on a fee of $50 in addition to $700 in bail. I told them my wife had his my keys and wallet which was why I had not left in the first place. Since I couldn't post bail, I spent the next 24 hours in jail even though they knew I was not a flight risk as I was an Army officer.

While in jail, the cop who arrested me brought a woman from the battered women's shelter to talk with my wife. When my wife explained what happened, the representative told her that it had been her fault and that I should not have been arrested. The officer heard this but left me in jail anyway until my boss finally got me my wallet.

This could have been extremely damaging to my career, but thankfully the Army did its own investigation and found me to not have been at fault. My chain of command was very supportive throughout the ordeal, and the military paid for counseling for my wife.

The bail paperwork said that I was not allowed to go back to my house until the trial was over, and then they set the court date for six months later. This is obviously designed to catch people violating a court order and to do serious financial harm to the alleged offender. In my case I didn't care much as I had already decided to move out anyway, but you can imagine what a bind this would put some families in.

The DA was not nearly as thorough in its investigation as the army was. They presume men are guilty and attempt to punish them by forcing them to get a lawyer when they know they can't win. They told me if I hired a lawyer that they would drop the charges. I told them that was ridiculous and that an innocent man shouldn't have to pay thousands of dollars.

I defended myself in court and won. I realize this isnt an option for most as I'm more educated than many in this situation. I got my bail money back, but they never have me back the $50. So I submitted a dispute to my credit card company to get that back as well. Things worked out well for me, but I know I'm the exception, and I will for the rest of my life have a disparaging outlook on police and our legal system. They've lost their way and are more interested in chasing federal funding and fees than in providing equal protection under the law.

AlexWymore
AlexWymore

I forgot to mention that I requested a jury trial but was denied. The judge told me that I could only have one on appeal. It appears VAWA violates not just the 14th amendment but the 6th as well.

BenLampson
BenLampson

@AlexWymore

The same happened to me. I was arrested multiple times...even during the times that I called the cops. The VAWA law is the most unjust, gender bias BS law that could ever be. I am with you 100%...and I also do not trust the cops or courts.

BobFitzgerald
BobFitzgerald

@BenLampson @AlexWymore I am still being harassed by my ex who falsely accused me of DV. She was very abusive to me and I was going to leave. When she saw I was not going to put up with it anymore she called the police and accused me. She said several times she would if I ever tried to leave. She always said, "I'm a mommy. Who do you think they will believe?" She wanted me homeless and suffering. She would get drunk and tell that to guys she would meet in bars. I got a order of protection against her and she violated it. She did two days and they dropped the charges and never told me. The VAWA is unconstitutional and is abused in every state. It should be repealed. A misdemeanor DV charge follows you worse than a murder charge. It is state sanctioned sexism.

TaniaFigur
TaniaFigur

I'm in a domestic violence relationship and I don't leave because he is the source of income and I have nowhere to go. I don't have family and I don't know anyone. So I hope something changes because this is so true I called the cops and I got arrested because someone had to, and he couldn't cause he had to work the next day. So the cops had to arrest someone and I went to jail for a night. I told my church what was going on and how I needed help I have four kids. And the church wanted to make sure he was ok with it. The church was against me and said that I have to be silent and submissive to my husband. They only liked him because he would tithe all the time. I hope some day so.ethung changes because I want to live again. I want to be free again. I just can't wait..

KerryVoss
KerryVoss

I saw a little dog just terrorizing a big dog (German Shepard I think). This went on for days I was wondering why the big dog didn't do anything. I watched for a long time. Then the little dog one day got killed by the German Shepard. I think that we are not much different. Many times the woman is like a little dog just terrorizing the Man. The man barks back a few time to say stop terrorizing me. We are not animals but we have to live with the same thing in this world. We are expected to live under the rule of the little dog and heaven forbid be bark back. I am saying mostly we need to look at both sides of a story that VAWA sadly doesn't address. There is heavy accountability missing from VAWA to prevent it from being a Family Destroying Machine. It needs to address the problem first do we need to criminalize anyone.


1.) like the little dog intervention would have been the key. Separate and analyze the situation. At this point no laws have been broken the little dog is just terrorizing the big inflating his ego. Now he thinks he is a big dog commando. OK Separate the two for while try again later to see if we can get little dog to stop terrorizing big dog. Saying "No you can't do that".


2.) Determine who is at fault. Why accuse big dog he didn't do anything wrong. little dog was terrorizing him. little dog needs to be separated and corrected.


3.) Why are we so quick to say it is the Man's Fault. Woman have as much to do with domestic violence as men seeing as they choose to be together. She choose to let the man enter her life and the man choose to let her enter his life. Sometimes there are disagreements and intervention needs to separate and correct the situation. Why do we need to VAWA to say the Man is at fault and needs to enter the Criminal Justus System when he has done nothing wrong. Why just blame the big dog?


4.) VAWA and the underlying system is wrong.


5.) Create DVA (Domestic Violence Act.) Create a system that works on both sides of an issue. Counselling two parties not enforcement centric. All couples being (Domestic) have two sides to all issues. It is OK to separate the Male and Female and then start counseling to find out the problems and correct them. Sometimes Jail or Separation (Restraining Order) maybe necessary to keep further harm from happening but I think we need to truly find out on an individual bases what is happening and whether law enforcement is even necessary. Some time it is but you just cant blame the big dog or the man. every coin has two sides and a one sided approach to violence in domestic cases in never ever going to work. You decide:


What would work better:


VAWA Separate Incarcerate Console the Man Violate his rights and make him pay?


DVA Console the Man and Woman Determine outcome fix the situation or separate the two Incarcerate if necessary?


Why does VAWA feel it necessary to destroy families many with kids or a simple dispute why make these children's parents criminals because of a simple argument that all couples have. There is a huge difference between Abuse and a disagreement. Even siblings fight, so what we start incarcerating children for fighting? There needs to a tighter control when entering Domestic Situations that Regulate the Court and the Law Enforcement on what they can consider "ABUSE". A domestic spat that ends a family needs to be examined by licensed professional medical professionals to determine abuse before court is even entered.

GumBoocho
GumBoocho

How do outrageous laws like this get passed?  Laws that Discriminate against men?  Why didn't they write a Violence against People act?

AlexWymore
AlexWymore

Agreed. This is a violation of the fourteenth amendment and equal protection under the law. Politicians pandering for female voters.

YF
YF

This law should be named Violence Against People Act. Joe Biden is the perfect example for misandry.

seraphine.tempest
seraphine.tempest

I was pregnant at fifteen. Most the relationships have been around this man. His co-workers, friends of his family....etc. I'm not clear how this law would address these issues of difficulty of extraction from abusive situations. One of the reasons there is under reporting is because no one wants to address these issues. That was rape by both state and federal law. We did NOT marry so We are not sweethearts. Boy, don't I get to know it. I still have major legal troubles. No one cares when people that affiliate with him abuse me. No one brings it back to the OOPS 20 years ago when everyone decided that me being a teen was just gray enough to let that slide. Some of these people will text me or harass me. One relationship I had was with a man who admitted to law enforcement to child pornography. They didn't prosecute. Doesn't that seem like he would choose me because law enforcement doesn't prosecute? How easy to victimize. Co workers with my ex. My current husband tried to enlist together with my son's father and has been involved trying to take my youngest child from me. I knew him since my underage pregnancy. I do not do drugs. I do not commit crimes. I graduated school and I work and volunteer and attend church. I guess that's why I'm hoping my circumstances are more like the twilight zone. I know even reporting continues abuse. I have accusations because I reported abuse. 

GumBoocho
GumBoocho

@seraphine.tempest Sorry, i don't understand -- & sorry for your grief.  If a man raped you, he deserved the death penalty.  And you deserved every support possible.  But was this rape or did you fornicate willingly with a guy?  Did you cry for help?  Did you resist?  You are not clear.   Rape was effectively abolished when fornication was abolished as a crime -- now it is just sexual assault, with no more overarching immorality than putting a finger in an arm pit.  If you fornicated willingly, then you need to repent of your sin -- if that is the case. And if you sinned and repent, then you also deserve support.

monarch10_4
monarch10_4

I am a female now 63. I once advocated for this act. I now oppose it. I have witnessed predators hide behind the act to shield their crimes of child abuse and drugs. To get a man out of the way predators simply call and the cops haul. Authorities looking for funding over children's welfare are out of control. I regret that I ever donated my time and money traveling advocating for this act.

KerryVoss
KerryVoss

@monarch10_4 Thank you for coming forward and understanding the Abuse on Families by the Family Court that this poorly erected legal document has created. It is the end of families for something as minor as minor as yelling at your spouse, you can be hauled away, prosecuted ( usually plea-bargained because your now guilty before proving your innocent in this country) and found guilty without representation or justice for all. A Enactment of Prejudice against Men regardless of race. It goes very little to detour the actual crime of "Violence Against Women" actually it serves as death sentence for a woman in an abusive situation, and is a tool that is used by local government to extract federal funds via more incarcerations. That is something this country just doesn't need. Joe Biden the author of this crap may seek election as president. Think about this when you go to vote. Do we really want another 4 years of Democratic or Republican Party costing us billions in warehousing 1/4 of the population of us via this poorly written, poorly executed legislation. I don't know what party I am voting for next time but I am sure it doesn't include Rep or Dem. 

dvresearchlab
dvresearchlab

FEMALE SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICES!

Have you been hurt by a romantic partner in the last 6 months? 

If so, and you are female, heterosexual, and at least 18 years old, would you be willing to complete a 20 minute survey to help us better understand your experiences? 

If yes, click on the link below. Eligible participants will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 gift card for their time. 

https://umdsurvey.umd.edu/SE/?SID=SV_5pZKP6Fdx9tI3tj

THANK YOU! 

AlexWymore
AlexWymore

Too right. Zero funding for men in these situations.

Saiyo
Saiyo

@dvresearchlab what about men victims of domestic violence? no one fund your study for that?

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!

AlexWymore
AlexWymore

I've seen it first hand and couldn't agree more.

KerryVoss
KerryVoss

@joeafrica123 @NoahCalderon Just to expand it is a Law that Generates Income for Local Governements and Attorneys by declaring "War on Families". It is the foundation work of the Divorce System that generates Billions of Dollars for Attorneys that then "Support Judges" with large cash donations. It criminalizes men with little to no evidence of abuse IE: Yelling" basically criminalizes every man (and more so woman) for something that is not even considered "ABUSE"

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.

seraphine.tempest
seraphine.tempest

@malangrad why should someone have to leave if they are being abused? Am I supposed to leave my whole town because they didn't feel like prosecuting my rape when I was pregnant at fifteen? I'm supposed to leave? Maybe everyone else should pack their things and leave.I didn't leave work when a guy grabbed my face at work, either. I have cerebral palsy. I need minor amounts of support. I'm not with the man that fathered my child but the people in his life are still heavily involved in mine. I can't escape whole GROUPS. they are the ones who need to run like hell. 

KerryVoss
KerryVoss

@seraphine.tempest @malangrad And this law helps you? How? The law isn't going to protect you. You absolutely need to run like hell. Why would you stay in an abusive situation. Do you think that this poorly executed, poorly enacted legislation is somehow going to bring the good side out in law enforcement officers to save you. Do you think that mass arrests are going to be made against those that did crimes against you. No it is time for you to wake up! The laws of this country are only to support the money machine that is the US Government. If you think that they give a ratsass about you or justice then your sadly mistaken. Run, Run Like Hell.

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.

JohnGormley
JohnGormley

@markw571 the reason there is a VAWA id because feminists want $660,000,000 per year in the USA.

In Europe they are bringing in the same style of law called the Istanbul Convention.

It will bring billions into the coffers of feminists.


They will also be able to go into schools to teach young children how to be feminists.

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!

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.

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.   

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.

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!!!


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!


bob1
bob1

@lynnig No, this is not an isolated incident. My wife was nothing less than harassed in a very similar situation because she wouldn't file a protective order. Spent thousands in legal fees (we were both unemployed at the time) to have the case dropped and eventually removed from the public records. 


After this incident, I am convinced the United States government is me and family's worst enemy. And to think I pay taxes for these stupid elected officials to be bought and paid for by lobbyists on matters like this. I'm convinced most of our national debt could be erased if we got rid of this kind of ridiculous pork. 


Of course you realize by pursuing your situation in the way they did, they obtained bribes / grants. No citizen needs a government that is operating the way our governments are operating.  

ILUVUSA2
ILUVUSA2

@AlexWymore  And Joe Biden proudly puts his name out there on the VAMA link, as if he wrote it.  


In my opinion, the VAMA has evolved over the years and become something different than was originally intended.



KerryVoss
KerryVoss

@gintare.petkute @lynnig

Quit Justifying this Law. "This law is not perfect" It is a Gender Biased Poorly Written, Poorly Executed, Prejudicial, Family Executioner Law.

"But there is no law that can please everyone." Really there are already laws in place for domestic violence and abuse why make a new one that discriminates and criminalizes someone's "MALE" parents.

Now Look:

I am a victim of this travesty of justice. Like this lady I also had and altercation with my wife that although I am not proud of was not my fault. She started it and it was mostly because of medical problems and drugs she was prescribed altering her normal mild manor. She hit me with a mop and went mental on me. I never hit her. The police came I was arrested and had to pay thousands of dollars and I now have a criminal record at 51 years of age with not one prior assault of any kind on my record. I was separated from my wife for 2 years while the support enforcement agency took advantage (racketeering I think they call it) and took my taxes for two years. I have the baby and I am homeless. This law has destroyed my family as it was written to do. Cost me Thousands as it was written to do. It has made me and my 5 year old boy homeless as it was unintentionally written to do. I now have an assault on my record so I can't get an apartment and my poor baby boy suffers. So stop your attempt to justify this law, it has no place in America. The only real "Victims" of this law are: Men Children and Families. Repeal VAWA

AlexWymore
AlexWymore

Your's was not an isolated incident. They did the same thing to me. I defended myself in court and won, but their whole goal is to collect their funding while punishing people by forcing them to pay legal fees. It's become a complete scam with nobody caring about the families.

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.





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