January 23 2017
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was brilliantly named.
Any time one criticizes any aspect of the act, it is necessary to begin by explaining that one does not support violence against women. Such are the Orwellian uses of language, particularly pieces of legislation.
The left is crying sexism that the Trump administration is very wisely re-evaluating the taxpayer money spent on heretofore sacrosanct VAWA programs. Twenty-five VAWA-funded programs will be scrutinized by the incoming administration.
IWF has long taken a critical position on VAWA (including being concerned about how taxpayer money is spent). Christina Villegas produced an excellent report on VAWA three years ago, when it was up for reauthorization by Congress.
Christina argued, among other things, that the left's claims that VAWA has reduced partner violence are unverified. VAWA's mandatory arrest policies may indeed lead to increased levels of violence. Christina cited another reason to be skeptical about VAWA: funding is prone to waste, fraud, and abuse.
Christina found that the funding was distributed to state and local providers through coalitions staffed mostly by feminist ideologues. I have from time to time taken note over the years of a favorite activity of campus women's centers that receive VAWA funds: hosting marches where men express solidarity with women by parading about wearing high heels and make up. Fun maybe, but is it a justifiable use of government money?
Possible cuts to VAWA programs (and numerous other taxpayer supported programs) reportedly will be guided by "skinny budget" plan prepared by the Heritage Foundation and set to be released within the first 45 days of the Trump administration.
I urge you to read Christina Villegas' complete report on VAWA.