The Violence Against Women Act Should Outrage Decent People
The law victimizes both women and men while building a feminist power structure
March 19, 2012
At the outset it is important to say, emphatically, that no decent person would stand by while a more powerful, stronger or bigger person physically abuses or batters someone more vulnerable. Everyone should want to end violence against women, but the Violence Against Women Act misses the mark. It ends up creating a climate of suspicion where all men are feared or viewed as violent and abusive and all women are viewed as victims. Decent people should be outraged at the climate of false accusations, rush to judgment and hidden agendas that characterize the situation that has developed during the 18 years of this law.
One of the ways such bills exist is through clever naming of leftist proposals. We have "prochoice" instead of "pro-abortion" and we have this law, which promises to end violence against women. Those who oppose such positive-sounding measures appear to be heartless and are on the defensive at the outset. But there is no escaping the negative aspects of this act. The bill is a boondoggle for feminist groups (follow the money) and the funds go to "re-train" judges and other officials in the details of "women's rights" rather than addressing the major problems of battered women who end up in hospital emergency rooms. We know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there are roughly 30 factors that lead to violent, abusive behavior, most notably, anger, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse. Sadly, instead of rehabilitation programs that address those behaviors, the Violence Against Women Act promotes a feminist agenda.
It is also a bureaucratic nightmare with billions of dollars spent to establish a vast expansion of government programs that are riddled with financial irregularities. Feminists like to repeat the mantra that there is a "war against women," but when women can routinely claim nebulous "psychological harm" and keep a man out of his home, away from his children, possibly losing his job and ruining his reputation, there is more of a war against men than against women. Intimate partner violence is mostly from boyfriends, rather than husbands (about 62 percent) and it is about equal between men and women (6.4 percent vs. 6.3 percent).
The greatest problem, though, with the law, known by its acronym, VAWA, is that it is an ineffective program; it has a long history of failure. A family violence expert said, "There is no evidence that VAWA has led to a decrease in violence against women." Instead, the legislation has morphed into a rigid, inhuman law enforcement tool that relies on restraining orders and mandatory arrests instead of ending intimate partner violence. The law is more about building feminist power structures than about protecting vulnerable women or helping battered women.