libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Let the lady speak . .

"Congress Should Kill Discriminatory Domestic Violence Act"

by Wendy McElroy
Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will expire this September if it is not re-authorized by Congress. Largely viewed as an anti-domestic violence (DV) measure, VAWA has become a flash point for the men's rights advocates (MRAs) who see it instead as the living symbol of anti-male bias in law.

Although a significant number of domestic violence (DV) victims are male, VAWA defines victims as female. As one result, tax-funded DV shelters and services assist women and routinely turn away men, often including older male children.

Estimates vary on the prevalence of male victims. Professor Martin Fiebert of California State University at Long Beach offers a bibliography that "summarizes 170 scholarly investigations, 134 empirical studies and 36 reviews." It indicates that men and women are victimized at much the same rate. A lower-bound figure is provided by a recent BoJ study: men constituted 27 percent of the victims of family violence between 1998 and 2002.

Accordingly, MRAs not only accuse the Act of not merely being unconstitutional for excluding men but also of dismissing the existence of one-quarter to one-half of DV victims . . .


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