Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where the Real Shame Lies: Calling Victims of Violence Liars and Their Advocates Crooks

Terry O'Neill: Where the Real Shame Lies: Calling Victims of Violence Liars and Their Advocates Crooks

There is a "Real VAWA" that is supported by well over 300 organizations and governmental agencies that was crafted and informed by scholarly evidence and the authentic voices and realities of the estimated two million reported cases annually.  Think about it...Given what we know individually about what victims do, you can surmise that incidents of violence against women are still drastically under-reported.

As a survivor, I never reported a single incident of violence against me to police for a variety of reasons such as "fear".  Additionally, I personally know of many other victims who share in that statement which causes me certainty that you know of such instances that went unreported as well.

The "Real VAWA" holds perpetrators of violence and abuse against women accountable and has mechanisms that provide multi-levels of protection and supports for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, however, now there is unfortunately another VAWA called H.R. 4970 that scares the hell out me. It is informed and supported by the National Coalition for Men and is not in the best interest of women victims. It erodes protections and puts some victims directly in harms way.

In the attached article, National Organization for Women President, Terry O'Neill speaks volumes in this feature: "Where the Real Shame Lies: Calling Victims of Violence Liars and their Advocates Crooks".  As it does with O'Neill, we should all realize who and what is behind H.R. 4970 and ask the questions, "Why aren't House Republicans celebrating the hard work and success of VAWA grantees," who face the atrocities and devastation of the traumatic acts of violence perpetrated against women and children daily? And why does the language of the bill (H.R. 4970) assume victims are liars and grantees are embezzlers?" Smoke Screen?? I agree with O'Neill and what comes to mind is what my grandmother use to say of suspect activity and behaviors..."There's a dead-cat on the line somewhere.".  O'Neill puts it, "Perhaps the focus on "fraud" and "false allegations" is meant to be convenient cover for what H.R. 4970 really does: roll back victim protections that have existed in law for decades; order the establishment of a new and costly bureaucracy to burden grantees with unnecessary paperwork; and deny any meaningful protections to battered immigrants, Native women, or LGBT victims"? WHY??

H.R. 4970 is a mean-thing. It hits both victims and the programs that serve them. This "thing" seeks to establish a new and costly "fraud" unit in the Justice Department that would divert extreme amounts of money needed to directly help victims. Hope that your daughter or neice or sister has a loving and caring, non abusive partner because H.R. 4970 says there are (already) "enough victims."  H.R. 4970 says that immigrant, Native-American, and LGBT victims are NOT good victims to protect so does not want them added to the list of those already protected from abuse. H.R. 4970 is "mean" and is a direct insult not only to victims, but those who love them and serve them.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate being asked, "What is VAWA". VAWA stands for the Violence Against Women Act.

    The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women summarize it. VAWA is a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States.

    The passage of VAWA in 1994, and its reauthorization in 2000 and 2005, changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Victims receive protections and access to services.

    The Real VAWA (s. 1925) as reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee represents the VAWA reauthorization legislation that is endorsed by over 300 national organizations.

    S. 1925 supporters include law enforcement, religious, education, legal, and service professionals across the nation, because it is the only version of VAWA that protects all victims.


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