PRESS RELEASE

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

Domestic Violence Programs Have Not Delivered on Promises to Women: SAVE Report

WASHINGTON / January 14, 2013 – Domestic violence programs have fallen short in meeting women’s needs, according to a report issued today by SAVE. Of greater concern are studies that document some violence-prevention strategies endorsed by the federal Violence Against Women Act place women at greater risk of victimization and even death.

The report, Have Domestic Violence Programs Delivered on Their Promises to Women?, reviews nearly 50 research studies and articles examining the effectiveness of restraining orders, mandatory arrest policies, and no-drop prosecution. The report concludes the impact of these criminal justice measures ranges from harmful to ineffective: http://www.saveservices.org/downloads/VAWA-Has-It-Delivered-on-Its-Promises-to-Women

The report is issued by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, a victim-advocacy organization.

The report summarizes nearly 50 research studies and other articles, and concludes the programs funded by the federal anti-violence program:

  • Are ineffective in reducing abuse
  • Promote arrest and prosecution policies that place women at greater risk
  • Often ignore the wishes of abused women
  • May lull women into a false sense of security
  • Ensnare women in a rigid criminal justice bureaucracy
  • Make it more difficult for real victims to get help
  • Shortchange the needs of female aggressors
  • May not provide needed services at abuse shelters, and
  • Can lead to the removal of children from their homes

“Lawmakers should carefully review the findings in this report,” explains SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “Women will be outraged if lawmakers stick to ‘business as usual’ and don’t reform policies known to maim and kill women.”

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