PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608
Email: tstoddard@saveservices.org

Candidates of All Political Stripes Now Endorse VAWA Reform

WASHINGTON/ November 1 – Congressional candidates from all major political parties and from across the nation endorse the need for wide-ranging reforms to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The candidates agreed with the need to reform VAWA in three broad areas:

  1. Stop waste and fraud
  2. End discriminatory practices
  3. Curb false allegations

Approximately equal numbers of Democratic and Republican candidates support reforming the federal anti-abuse law. Reflecting the issue’s appeal across the political spectrum, candidates from the Libertarian, Independent, Green, and Reform parties also came out in support of VAWA reform.

A listing of endorsing candidates can be seen here: http://www.saveservices.org/campaign-2012/candidate-endorsements/

“Candidates have heard loud and clear from voters how relaxed standards of proof have given rise to a flood of false allegations,” explains SAVE spokesman Gordon Smith. “These bogus charges make it harder for real abuse victims to get desperately needed services and protections, and create a new class of victims: the falsely accused.”

A national survey conducted earlier this year by SAVE found a majority of persons favors reforming the 18-year-old law. Among likely voters, 69.5% state they want to stop waste and fraud, 65.9% see a need to end discriminatory practices, and 63.5% wish to curb false allegations.

The full survey results can be seen here: http://www.saveservices.org/campaign-2012/national-survey-on-vawa-reform/

A more lopsided result is seen in an online poll conducted in March 2012 by U.S. News and World Report. Persons agreed with the position that VAWA “victimizes both women and men while building a feminist power structure” by a three-to-one margin. And by a two-to-one vote, persons agreed that “The Violence Against Women Act is an egregious departure from justice and common sense.”

The poll can be viewed here: http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-the-violence-against-women-act-be-reauthorized

The Violence Against Women Act expired in 2011 and is currently up for reauthorization. The Senate approved the VAWA reauthorization bill, S. 1925, on April 26. Three weeks later the House passed H.R. 4970. Discussions are now ongoing to resolve the differences between the two bills.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence and sexual assault: www.saveservices.org