Some Say Men Are the Real Victims of Domestic Violence

By Randy LoBasso

Aug 22, 2012

In mid-May, the U.S. House of Representatives was tasked with re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Originally put into place in 1994, the bill provides added funding into the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, like spousal abuse. This year, under House GOP control, the final version of the bill was extremely watered down. It would have added a provision in which abusers could know their victims called for help. It also stripped out all the protections for the LGBT community.

One of the groups opposed to the Senate’s more female-friendly version of the VAWA was the National Coalition for Men, who noted in a public statement, “Opposing versions, by omission and lack of specificity generally exclude men, particularly heterosexual men, regardless of specious arguments to the contrary.” The Coalition then, says the Violence Against Women Act is unfair because straight men, they believe, are more often the real victims of domestic violence.

Well, the Coalition has a Philadelphia liaison. His name is Bill Gravitz. He did not answer our request for comment on this issue, but did forward our email to Harry Crouch, the president of the organization.

“Men in Philadelphia are and will be similarly situated and adversely affected as other men in the U.S. by VAWA, regardless of the version, because legislators apparently favor women over men,” Crouch writes to PW, “and treat male and female victims of domestic violence unequally, even though males and females are equally adversely affected by domestic violence. We feel that H.R. 4970 [The Republican version of the bill] simply offers better protections for all involved, especially victims of false accusations which is a heinous form of domestic violence.”

Crouch concluded his letter to say he hopes to soon have a Philadelphia chapter for the group, with Gravitz’s assistance.