February 25 2013

The Violence Against Women Act

Christina Villegas

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The 113th Congress is currently considering the third reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and Congressional leaders have made its passage a top priority.

Democrats seek to continue VAWA as is and single out select victim groups for special protection. They demonize those who question their approach and champion reforms as indifferent to women’s suffering. However, there are legitimate flaws with the current VAWA regime and planned expansions, and ways to improve the law to better protect domestic violence victims.

While the Left highlights declining rates of intimate partner violence as a reason to green-light their proposed reauthorization, there is no evidence that this decline is attributable to VAWA. Intimate partner crimes began to fall along with violent crime rates prior to VAWA’s passage, and rates of violent crime overall have declined significantly more than have rates of domestic violence.

In face, all attempts to study and assess VAWA’s effectiveness in reducing the occurrence of domestic and sexual violence have been problematic.

VAWA has other significant flaws: It overlooks many of the proven causes of violence (such as substance abuse), and has been a source of waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer resources. In some cases, there is even reason to believe that policies advanced in VAWA have backfired on victims.

Americans want policymakers to efficiently and effectively respond to domestic and sexual violence. Therefore, Congress should use VAWA’s reauthorization to address its most fundamental flaws.

Click here to read the rest of the 6-page policy focus in PDF.

IN THIS ISSUE
What You Need to Know
Why You Should Care
More Information
   - VAWA's Histroy
   - Problems with Existing Law
   - Problems with Proposed Reauthorization
   - Reforming VAWA to Better Help Those in Need
   - VAWA Deserves a Real Debate
What You Can Do

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