On Monday, July 11, SAVE will unveil much-needed and long-overdue reforms to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The Partner Violence Reduction Act (PVRA) addresses lack of due process, gender bias, loose definitions, false allegations and more.
- Over 11,500 victims have signed a petition demanding to know why shelters are “refusing victims the resources and services they desperately need.”
2. Makes the law gender-inclusive and bans discriminatory policies.
- The 2005 renewal of VAWA states: “Nothing in this title shall be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from receiving benefits and services under this title.” Six years later, rampant gender bias continues unchecked.
3. Removes harmful mandatory arrest, predominant aggressor, and no-drop prosecution policies, thus helping to restore due process.
- Mandatory arrest and no-drop prosecution policies are linked to an increase in partner homicides. And due to predominant aggressor provisions, over three-quarters of arrestees are male, even though half of the perpetrators are female.
4. Dramatically expands the use of counseling programs that have been shown to be effective in reducing abuse.
- Family interventions can change the entire family unit, so further abuse will not continue, and children will not transfer dysfunction from their family into their adult relationships. We need more counseling and less incarceration.
5. Funds a multi-site research study of the effectiveness of restraining orders.
- Concerns about widespread due process violations related to restraining orders have been voiced in legal circles for many years.
6. Assures legal assistance is provided both to alleged victims and alleged offenders, thus restoring the Constitutional guarantee of “equal treatment under the law”.
- Approximately 2 million persons have their constitutionally protected rights compromised each year by domestic violence laws and policies. While accusers receive free legal assistance, few of the accused get the same.
7. Requires third-party accreditation of all domestic violence training, education, and public awareness programs.
- Less than 10% of domestic violence educational materials meet minimum standards of accuracy, balance, and truthfulness. One judge admitted that the information presented at a domestic violence seminar he attended “blew up…all my concept of constitutional protections.”
8. Curbs immigration fraud.
- The Violence Against Women Act has been documented to facilitate immigration fraud. Anyone who enters the country illegally and can produce a restraining order, even with no hard evidence of abuse, will likely to be approved for a work permit and permanent residency.