Partner Violence Reduction Act Brings Hope to Victims
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2011 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Aiming to strengthen the federal Violence Against Women Act, today the Partner Violence Reduction Act was released for consideration and future enactment by the United States Congress. The proposed law was developed by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – SAVE – a national victim-advocacy organization.
The Partner Violence Reduction Act will bring hope to abuse victims such as Ebonee Barnes, mother of three. Writing in a Philadelphia-area newspaper, Barnes recently revealed that the “shelters they place us in are beyond unlivable.”
The Partner Violence Reduction Act will also offer hope to persons like Sean Lanigan, a northern Virginia teacher who was falsely accused by a student of sexual assault. As featured in a recent Washington Post expose, the school district refused to restore Lanigan’s full teaching privileges even after a jury found him innocent of all charges.
And the Partner Violence Reduction Act will kindle hope among victims of domestic violence who have been refused help on account of their sex or gender identity. The PVRA will ban discriminatory practices by abuse shelters and other domestic violence services.
Part of the problem stems from overly-broad definitions of abuse. “Right now, just raising your voice counts as ‘domestic violence,’ which clogs the system with trivial and even false complaints,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “That forces persons in life-threatening situations to wait their turn and hope for the best.”
The Partner Violence Reduction Act:
1. Gives first priority to real victims and reduces false allegations by constraining definitions and distinguishing between an allegation and a judicial finding of domestic violence.
2. Makes the law gender-inclusive and removes discriminatory policies.
3. Seeks to protect and restore families when the abuse is minor.
4. Removes harmful mandatory arrest, predominant aggressor, and no-drop prosecution policies, thus helping to restore due process.
5. Allows legal assistance to be provided both to the alleged victim and alleged offender.
6. Improves the accountability of domestic violence organizations.
7. Curbs immigration fraud.
8. Removes provisions that violate the Constitution and restores civil rights to the accused.
The full text of the Partner Violence Reduction Act can be seen here: www.saveservices.org/pvra . SAVE is a victim-advocacy group working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence.
Ebonee Barnes: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times_news/opinion/letters_to_editor/there-should-be-better-safer-alternatives-for-homeless-women/article_20a0bf62-1c7f-5082-9074-c30ed29243de.html
Sean Lanigan: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fairfax-teacher-sean-lanigan-still-suffering-from-false-molestation-allegations/2011/03/04/AFVwhh3G_story.html