Washington Post reporter Ben Pershing is so passionate about politics he was blinded by someone’s political propaganda, inadvertently sharing misinformation with WP readers. We’re calling his article a WaPo Whopper!
Pershing criticizes a Virginia gubernatorial candidate because he was one of three state attorneys general who did not sign a letter urging federal lawmakers to reauthorize a particular version of the Violence Against Women Act. He didn’t inform his readers that leading women’s groups such as the Independent Women’s Forum, Concerned Women for America, and the Mommy Lobby also strongly opposed that version of VAWA.
On the statistic of one million false allegations of domestic violence each year, Pershing writes, “Women’s rights groups and other critics strongly dispute that false claims are so widespread.” He links to a fact sheet that states “allegations [of domestic violence] are substantiated in 63 to 74 percent of cases” of divorce.
In the United States, 260,000 to 370,000 unsubstantiated allegations occur during a divorce each year. False allegations are also made in non-divorce contexts such as among dating couples, married couples, co-cohabiting couples, and post-divorce couples. So the source that Pershing claims to “strongly dispute” the one million figure in fact partially confirms the statistic.
Please politely ask Ben Pershing to correct his misinformation about domestic violence:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: WP Metro department, 202-334-7300
Teri Stoddard, Program Director
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
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