The Violence Against Women Act is
one of the most important laws affecting
families, noncustodial parents, and
children. It is a 5-year authorization
for most of the domestic violence
programs (including restraining orders)
used throughout the United States.
Once passed, it cannot be changed
substantially for another 5 years.
We at ACFC have
been working unceasingly to raise
awareness among legislators of the
danger of this law. We also need
action from you now. This is
one of the highest priorities of the
tool is the letter below: endorsed
by 14 leaders of national organizations, was
organized by ACFC and delivered
to members of Congress on Friday.
We are publishing
this letter as a full-page advertisement
in the Washington Times National Weekly
Edition and possibly other newspapers.
this action with your own letters to
members of Congress now. Regardless of
what you might have read elsewhere,
it is entirely appropriate and important
to write your members of Congress (both
the Senate and the House of Representatives)
and express your views on VAWA.
You may use the pre-composed message
below, but your voice will
have a greater impact if you can
compose your own message in your
own words. Please be positive
and respectful. TAKE
Use the points
in our letter, including the
recommendations toward the end,
as a guideline, but -- and this
is important -- address your views
to members in their own offices
(preferably field offices in
the home state or district), not
to the committee offices or staff.
(Faxes or phone calls are best.
Emails have less impact. Letters
currently require 3 weeks to clear
security.) The Senate held
hearings Tuesday, July 19 and the
witness list was 100% stacked
against us. The House is not
planning to hold hearings at all
and VAWA reauthorization may be
imminent. The time to make
your voice heard is NOW.
donate to ACFC to enable us
to run this letter as a newspaper
ad and continue our larger campaign
to educate public officials about
the real causes of family breakdown.
Schlafly has just written her second
article on VAWA (stronger than the
first), which is also her sixth
this year on the corruption of the
divorce industry. Urge
your local newspaper to run this
syndicated column by Phyllis this
READ THE ARTICLE.
2. Gordon Finley
had a fine op-ed piece in Tuesday's
READ THE ARTICLE.
have an article on VAWA scheduled
for next issue of The American
Conservative, due out next Monday,
At ACFC, we are working non-stop
to protect your interests, your
families, and your freedom, here
in Washington. But we cannot
do this alone. We need financial
support from you to continue.
The signatures below demonstrate
how much support we have already
garnered with important groups nationally.
With your support, we can expose
this family-destruction machine
and bring it under control.
Without it, our efforts will collapse.
Please click here to make your
tax deductible contribution.
Final Note: We
have only begun to fight back against
the destruction of our families.
We will be undertaking MORE
campaigns. We will confront the
federal child support regime.
We will encourage officials to protect
parental rights. We will be
publishing MORE newspaper ads.
Be sure to
forward this Alert to EVERYONE you
know and spread this message to
millions of American families!
Let no one doubt our resolve.
ACFC thanks David
Burroughs of the Safe Homes and
Families Coalition for his contribution
to the letter below and his
continual effort to change this
flawed legislation. Visit
David's site at:
letter was hand delivered by dedicated
volunteers to every member of Congress
last Friday, July 15 2005. Together,
we make a difference.
Open Letter to
Members of Congress on
the Violence Against
July 15, 2005
For the Special
Attention of Senators Biden, Specter,
and members of the Senate Judiciary
need to protect all citizens from
violence, the Violence Against Women
Act (VAWA, S. 1197, HR 2876), as
currently written, is deceptive
in its purported aims and destructive
to American families and freedom.
Well-intentioned lawmakers are being
misled about its purposes and effects.
Feminist advocate Andrea Dworkin
acknowledged that the original bill
was enacted only because "senators
don't understand the meaning of
the legislation that they pass."
We urge you to withhold or withdraw
support for this bill until it is
Families First and foremost, this
bill is highly destructive to American
families. It facilitates family
dissolution and increases the number
of fatherless children.
as a measure to protect women, its
provisions are more likely to be
used as weapons in divorce and custody
battles. As Thomas Kasper writes
in the current Illinois Bar Journal,
domestic violence measures funded
by VAWA readily "become part
of the gamesmanship of divorce."
It is well established
that most domestic violence occurs
outside of marriage or after its
breakup and that a married household
is the safest environment for women
and children. By encouraging marital
breakup, this legislation may exacerbate
the problem it ostensibly exists
At a time when
governments are spending money to
combat "Fatherless America,"
we should not simultaneously fund
programs that create the very problem
that elsewhere we are trying to
Funding of Ideological
Advocacy VAWA funds organizations
that pursue a strongly feminist
and leftist agenda. Regardless of
partisanship, it is not proper for
the United States government to
fund political advocacy or ideologies.
"If there is any fixed star
in our constitutional constellation,"
wrote Supreme Court Justice Robert
Jackson, "it is that no official,
high or petty, can prescribe what
shall be orthodox politics, nationalism,
religion, or other matters of opinion."
Denies the "Equal
Protection of the Laws" Scholars
recognize that men and women initiate
domestic violence in roughly equal
numbers and that a large percentage
of victims are male. Though men
are more often victims of violence
that is premeditated or contracted,
they receive no protection under
this act. Officials sometimes claim
that the act is blind in its allocating
resources, though in practice this
is not the case. "Strategies
for preventing intimate partner
violence should focus on risks posed
by men," states a paper by
the Department of Justice.
Erodes the Bill
of Rights Criminal statutes against
violent assault already exist, which
guarantee due process of law to
the accused. By bypassing these
statutes, VAWA also bypasses due
process. The New Jersey Law Journal
reports on a training seminar where
judges were openly instructed to
ignore the constitutional rights
is not to become concerned about
all the constitutional rights
of the man that you're violating
as you grant a restraining order.
Throw him out on the street, give
him the clothes on his back and
tell him, 'See ya' around.' We
don't have to worry about the[ir]
Enforcement VAWA injects political
ideology into law enforcement and
designates criminals and victims
not according to what they have
done or suffered but by who they
VAWA also blurs
the distinction between violent
crime and non-violent personal conflict.
Federally funded groups and the
Justice Department itself use vague
terms to describe crimes: "jealousy
and possessiveness," "name-calling
and constant criticizing, insulting,
and belittling the victim, "blaming
the victim for everything,"
"ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing
the victim's needs," "lying,
breaking promises, and destroying
the victim's trust," "criticizing
the victim and calling her sexually
Wasteful Requiring federal taxpayers
to subsidize family destruction
is poor public policy. This $4 billion
could be returned or spent more
Though some advocate
that VAWA funding be discontinued,
at a minimum, we urge the following
- The name of the legislation
should be changed to the Family
Violence Prevention Act.
- The Act should be amended to
explicitly prohibit denial of
funding or services to any victims
of domestic violence, without
regard to race, ethnicity, gender,
or religious affiliation. We suggest
this wording: "Nothing in
this statute shall be construed
as prohibiting funding for programs
focused on or serving male victims
of domestic violence. Male victims
shall be considered an underserved
- Funds dispersed under the Act
should be strictly prohibited
from being used for any political
purpose, including campaigns to
influence legislation or public
We are also concerned
that legislative hearings receive
testimony from a diversity of witnesses,
including male victims of domestic
violence, women who can testify
to the harm VAWA has done to them
and their families, and researchers
whose work is based on scientific
principles rather than ideology.
We suggest, in particular, professors
Murray Straus of the University
of New Hampshire Family Research
Laboratory and Richard Gelles, Dean
of the School of Social Policy and
Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.
Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle
Forum Stephen Baskerville, President,
American Coalition for Fathers and
Children Paul M. Weyrich, National
Chairman, Coalitions for America William
J. Murray, Chairman, Religious Freedom
Coalition Morton C. Blackwell, Virginia
Republican National Committeeman Donald
E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman,
American Family Association William
Greene, President, RightMarch.com
Deborah Weiss, GOPbloggers.com Steven
Mosher, President, Population Research
Institute Colin A. Hanna, President,
Let Freedom Ring James L. Martin,
President, 60 Plus Association Stephen
Stone, President, Renew America Maurice
H. McBride, Tanya K. Skeen, Family
Action Council International Mark
B. Rosenthal, RADAR: Respecting Accuracy
in Domestic Abuse Reporting