Dr. Phil’s Blooper Shows Need for DV Accreditation

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
July 18, 2011

Dr. Phillip McGraw, aka “Dr. Phil,” was the lead witness at last Wednesday’s Senate VAWA hearing. His testimony featured this forehead-slapper: “Domestic violence is now the most common cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44.”

But the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey says the leading cause of injuries to women is motor vehicle accidents. Domestic violence is ninth on the list, accounting for a grand total of 2.2% of all injuries to women. (You can see the complete listing here: http://www.responsibleopposing.com/facts/leadcaus.html  )

Unfortunately, such wild distortions are commonplace. According to the SAVE report, “Most DV Educational Programs Lack Accuracy, Balance, and Truthfulness,” 90% of DV educational and training programs fold, spindle, or otherwise mutilate the truth: http://www.saveservices.org/downloads/SAVE-DV-Educational-Programs  

The solution? Accreditation. SAVE’s Partner Violence Reduction Act features this requirement for federal grantees:

“Applicants must certify that all training, education, and public awareness training programs and activities, including each of its instructional manuals, curricula, handouts, and other informational content, are currently accredited by an independent Training, Education, and Public Awareness Accreditation Organization, as defined in Section 3(a)(29) of this Act; that the Training, Education, and Public Awareness Accreditation Organization is allowed to conduct audits of said training and education sessions; and that evidence of said accreditation is made publicly available on the organization’s website.”

This week we are asking you to contact Sen. Leahy’s office and urge him to include the requirement for DV accreditation in the upcoming VAWA reauthorization. In your email, mention the gross inaccuracy of Dr. McGraw’s testimony and ask that your request be included as public testimony for the July 13 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Email your testimony to Anya McMurray at Anya_McMurray@Judiciary-dem.senate.gov  . Make sure your statement is respectful and polite.

The deadline to receive public testimony is this coming Wednesday, July 20.