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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 year.
Our strongest 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.
Here's how you can help:

Please second 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 ACTION NOW. 

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.

Also: Please 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.


1.  Phyllis 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 week.  READ THE ARTICLE.

2. Gordon Finley had a fine op-ed piece in Tuesday's Washington Times.  READ THE ARTICLE.

3.  I have an article on VAWA scheduled for next issue of The American Conservative, due out next Monday, July 25. 

IMPORTANT:  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.

Stephen Baskerville President, ACFC  


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:  http://www.vawa4all.org/ 

The following 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 Women Act

July 15, 2005

For the Special Attention of Senators Biden, Specter, and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Recognizing the 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 significantly modified.

Destruction of Families First and foremost, this bill is highly destructive to American families. It facilitates family dissolution and increases the number of fatherless children.

Though advertised 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 to solve.

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 solve.

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 of Americans:

    "Your job 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] rights."

Politicizes Law 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 are.

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 degrading names."

Expensive and Wasteful Requiring federal taxpayers to subsidize family destruction is poor public policy. This $4 billion could be returned or spent more usefully elsewhere.


Though some advocate that VAWA funding be discontinued, at a minimum, we urge the following modifications:

  • 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 population."
  • Funds dispersed under the Act should be strictly prohibited from being used for any political purpose, including campaigns to influence legislation or public policy.

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
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