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Violence Against Women Legislation Just Takes Away The Rights Of
All Men Based on a Few Men's Actions
 
VAWA 2005: Time of Decision
 
This past Thursday Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) introduced the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 in the Senate. A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives in the next few days.

The proposed law, known as VAWA 2005, ignores the hundreds of thousands of men who are victims of domestic violence. This ideologically-loaded bill proposes to expand the previous VAWA legislation by taking the male = batterer, female = victim message and carrying it to children and youth, American Indians, and college students around the country. By our calculations, the bill carries a taxpayer price tag of $842 million a year.

Since its formation in January 2005, RADAR has made enormous strides in reducing media bias about domestic violence. But if passed in its current form, VAWA 2005 will spawn countless media stories that push the old domestic violence myths.

Worse, VAWA-induced hysteria will be used to thwart proposed fathers rights legislation. And the continued perception of an "epidemic" of domestic violence may well lead to new laws that discriminate against men and fathers.

At this point, Americans face two choices:

  1. Simply allow the proposed VAWA law to pass as proposed, OR
  2. Become actively involved in the legislative process.

If you are in the second category, please read on.

During the upcoming weeks and months, VAWA 2005 will undergo a number of steps in both the Senate and House of Representatives:

  1. Crime Sub-committee
  2. Judiciary Committee
  3. Vote by the full Senate and House
  4. Conference committee to reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.
  5. Confirmatory vote by both the Senate and House
  6. Approval or veto by President Bush

Each of these steps presents an opportunity to influence the direction of VAWA 2005. However, it is usually easier to influence legislation in the early stages of the process.

At this time, it is imperative that every person concerned about gender fairness to decide on your position:

 A. VAWA should be defeated, OR

B. VAWA be modified so male victims of DV can receive services.

 To help persons make this decision, RADAR has posted several articles on its website at www.mediaradar.org, including the following:

1. Promotional piece by VAWA advocates (2 pages):

www.mediaradar.org/vawa_info/Two-pagerVAWA6.6.05.doc   

2. VAWA factual summary (14 pages):

www.mediaradar.org/vawa_info/VAWA Sec 6.6.05.doc

3. VAWA bill (266 pages):

www.mediaradar.org/vawa_info/JEN05634_LC.PDF   

Also, Phyllis Schlafly's recent article, What Have Feminists Done to America's Fathers? makes some provocative comments: www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=7713

Next week's Alert will ask persons to contact their Senators and express their views on VAWA. If you have not already signed up to receive the RADAR e-lerts, visit our website at www.mediaradar.org.

VAWA is such a far-reaching law that if passed, every American will be affected by its programs. So now, for every one of us, it's a Time of Decision.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Date of RADAR Release: June 13, 2005

Join other men's and father's rights activists at the Second National Men's Equality Congress, July 15-16 in Washington DC. The first day of the Congress, July 15, will be devoted to lobbying activities on Capitol Hill. RADAR representatives will be there to orient persons to the current status of VAWA.

To receive RADAR Alerts, press releases, and other special announcements, sign up for the RADAR E-lert. You can sign up for the E-lert on the RADAR home page at www.mediaradar.org . Your e-mail address will be kept confidential, and will not be shared with any outside organization. It's fast, easy, and keeps you in the loop.

Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR) is a coalition of men and women working to assure media balance and accuracy in coverage of the domestic violence issue.



RADAR ALERT:
  VAWA Violates Civil Rights; Destroys Families; Harms Children

This week, RADAR has released a ground-breaking report, "VAWA: Threat to Families, Children, Men, and Women," (http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/VAWA-Threat-to-Families.pdf) that concludes that VAWA, although well intentioned, imposes a one-size-fits-all policy on American families. By treating families experiencing minor non-violent disagreements as if one party had attacked the other with a gun, families are ripped apart, the innocent are penalized, and children pay the price.

Among the points highlighted by the RADAR report:

  • Even when couple aggression is mutual or minor, domestic violence programs discourage partner reconciliation and encourage divorce.
  • A National Institute for Justice study concluded, "Restrictions on couples therapy and individual psychotherapy for battering are a point of contention between feminist-oriented batterer intervention providers and mental health providers in many communities."
  • The total absence of safeguards to prevent restraining orders from being issued for false or frivolous reasons deprives innocent people of their civil rights. Each year, half a million restraining orders are issued in cases with not even an allegation of violence.
  • When New Mexico Judge Daniel Sanchez issued a temporary order requiring David Letterman to have no contact with a woman he'd never met, who'd accused him of harassing her telepathically over the airwaves, that was no aberration. It was business as usual for the family court system.
  • Family law attorney Lisa Scott describes restraining orders as 'weapons of mass destruction'. She says of family courts, "Whenever a woman claims to be a victim, she is automatically believed. No proof of abuse is required.
  • The result is that children typically lose daily contact with their father. While this may be appropriate in the minority of cases that are pathologically violent, the children of those half million orders no allegation of violence are are two to three times more likely to use drugs, do badly in school, be socially maladjusted, and engage in criminal behavior.

This week, RADAR is asking you to contact your legislators by telephone, fax, or U.S. mail. Ask that they investigate the civil rights violations documented in "VAWA: Threat to Families, Children, Men, and Women" (http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/VAWA-Threat-to-Families.pdf)

Phone numbers and mailing addresses can be found at:

Your Representative in the House: http://www.house.gov
Your two Senators: http://www.senate.gov

Remember to keep all your communications polite and respectful.


Date of RADAR Release: March 19, 2006

R.A.D.A.R. Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting is a network of concerned men and women working to assure that the problem of domestic violence is treated in a balanced and effective manner. http://www.mediaradar.org.