*This blog is now defunct. I have moved to A Voice for Male Students. See you there! Thanks for your support. - TCM*

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Activism Opportunity: Call Your Reps about Upcoming VAWA and PVRA Vote!

For too long, public on domestic violence has embraced the narrow-minded ideology that only women are victims, and only men are perpetrators. We need public policy that understands that both men and women can be, and often are, victims of intimate partner violence. That's why we have been calling members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to vote no on the upcoming re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and instead support the gender-neutral Partner Violence Reduction Act (PVRA), sponsored by SAVE Services. And we are asking for your help in calling our senators before the committee votes on Thursday, February 2nd. It's easy to make the call, and takes anywhere from 1-6 minutes, depending on how many of them you wish to contact.

I made the call two days ago. I was reluctant to do so at first and put it off for a few days, but I felt really good after I called, not only because it felt good to speak out on an issue I cared about, but also because I was surprised at how simple and easy it was to contact a representative. It took me six minutes to call all eight members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. If you are extremely busy, remember that you only need a small pocket of time. For example, I called them during my lunch break. This is how easy it was: I called the office of a particular senator, a secretary picked up the phone, and this is how the conversation went. I'll use Senator Grassley as an example.

“Senator Grassley's office. How can I help you?”

“Hello, my name is so-and-so, and I am a resident of Texas. I am calling to urge senator Grassley to vote NO on the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and YES on the gender-neutral Partner Violence Reduction Act.”

And the secretary responded:

“Alright, thank you, I'll make sure and pass that along to him.”

And that's how most of the calls were. It really took less than a minute for each call. Sometimes I would be greeted with an answering machine, in which case I left a slightly longer message explaining my reasons. It's important to remember that a lot of people call these offices for all sorts of things, and politicians in general can only process small soundbites of information. So if you are calling, and I ask that you do, you might want to consider being concise. But ultimately, all that matters is that you call.

Here are the phone numbers of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
  • Chuck Grassley (202) 224-3744
  • Orrin G. Hatch (202) 224-5251
  • Jon Kyl (202) 224-4521
  • Jeff Sessions (202) 224-4124
  • Lindsey Graham (202) 224-5972
  • John Cornyn (202) 224-2934
  • Michael S. Lee (202) 224-5444
  • Tom Coburn (202) 224-5754

Now some of you might not know what the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, is. Well, it is a law designed to combat domestic violence against women. Note that it does not say violence against people, nor does it use any other gender-neutral term. And just as it excludes men as a group in the name of the law, so too does it exclude men in the protections and provisions outlined in the law. And that is no accident. The law itself is born out of the Feminist presumption that when it comes to domestic violence only women are victims, and only men are perpetrators.

VAWA distributes grants to state legislatures, education facilities, and law enforcement. I'll take law enforcement for example. In order to qualify for a certain grant that VAWA provides, law enforcement agencies must adopt a certain policy. Roughly half of US states have what are called Primary Aggressor policies, which means that police must determine who is the primary aggressor and arrest that person.

The criteria for who must be arrested under these policies is in most cases biased against men. Some primary aggressor policies instruct the police to arrest the person with “the greater size and strength,” which is almost always the male, or to arrest the partner if the other partner displays a greater amount of fear.

But wait, there's more!

Next are the Mandatory Arrest policies – if a state adopts these policies, when they respond to a domestic violence house call, they must make an arrest. And if they do not make an arrest, they have to fill out a form explaining why they did not.

But wait, there's more!

States may also adopt No-Drop Prosecution Policies, which mandate that states are not allowed to drop a charge once it has been entered. It doesn't matter if they find out they have charged the wrong person, it doesn't matter if the person who makes the charges recants, they can't throw the case out of court, they have to follow through with the entire legal circus until either an acquittal or judgment is rendered.

Now whenever states COMBINE these policies, it gets interesting. In such states, all a vindictive or spiteful woman has to do to harm an innocent man is call the police, falsely claim that she is a victim of domestic violence, and act afraid of her partner when they show up. And they will determine that the male is the source of the conflict – because primary aggressor laws say they have to - they will arrest him and take him to court because mandatory arrest policies say they, and even if there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in his favor, they can never drop the case, because No-Drop prosecution policies say they cannot. It really is that simple. And in many cases, the man who is falsely accused may simply plead “no contest” to the charges, simply to avoid dragging out the case.

Now wait, you may say. Don't these policies violate the Constitution? Why yes – in particular, the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th amendment to the Constitution, and the Due Process Clause under the 5th amendment to the Constitution.

Remember, for each of these VAWA policies that a state adopts, the state gets a hefty chunk of money. Essentially, the Violence Against Women Act allows Feminists to buy their own justice, or more accurately, their own injustice, using of course your tax dollars.

In addition, these funds go toward domestic violence shelters which bar men and boys over age 12 from receiving service.

The Senate Judiciary Committee can either vote to reauthorize this bill, which is sponsored by organizations like The National Organization for Women, or it can vote on the Partner Violence Reduction Act, which is sponsored by SAVE Services. SAVE stands for “Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.”

The first thing you will notice about the Partner Violence Reduction Act is that the name of the bill is gender-neutral. And that, too, is no accident! And just as it includes both sexes in the name of the bill, so too does it include both in the protections and provisions outlined in the bill. But if you remain unconvinced, feel free to peruse the literature of the bill itself:


But if you don't feel like reading the entirety of it, here is what it does in a nutshell, as posted on the SAVE services website:


The Partner Violence Reduction Act:

“Removes provisions that violate the Constitution and restores civil rights to the accused.
1. Gives first priority to real victims and reduces false allegations by constraining definitions and distinguishing between “alleged” victims and “adjudicated” victims.
2. Seeks to protect and restore families when the abuse is minor.
3. Removes harmful mandatory arrest, predominant aggressor, and no-drop prosecution policies, thus helping to restore due process.
4. Allows legal assistance to be provided both to the alleged victim and alleged offender, thus affirming the Constitutional guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.”
5. Requires third-party accreditation of domestic violence training, education, and public awareness programs to assure the accuracy and balance of the information presented.
6. Makes the law gender-inclusive and removes discriminatory policies.
7. Funds major studies designed to:
research the effectiveness of restraining orders
replicate and evaluate innovative counseling interventions
assess the costs of intimate partner violence
8. Evaluates the feasibility of faith-based counseling programs.
9. Improves the accountability of domestic violence organizations.
10. Corrects misleading and outdated Findings.
11. Curbs immigration fraud.”

Now some people may say, “Aren't politicians going to do what they have always done anyway? Is calling our representatives really that effective? Honestly, I donno. But I do know this: doing something when an opportunity presents itself, especially when it is easy to do, is better than doing nothing. And also, there is the satisfaction of preventing certain narrow-minded Feminists from being the only voices our Senators hear.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday, February 2nd. We have until their offices close on Wednesday, which is usually around 4:30 PM, to get our calls in.

The men - past, present, and future - who are victims of domestic violence need our support.

Who among us will speak in their defense?

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