I-VAWA: Triumph of Ideology over Truth

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
March 11, 2014

The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), H.R. 3571, was introduced in the House of Representatives last November. The bill is purportedly designed to address the problem of domestic violence in the global context.

The three leading causes of domestic violence are:
1. Marital instability
2. Substance abuse
3. Emotional problems

So how well would I-VAWA address these problems?

1. Marital Instability

Marital instability is the #1 cause of domestic violence. Persons who are separated face a risk of partner violence that is 50 times higher than the rate of married individuals, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (1):
• Married: 0.9/1,000 persons
• Separated: 49.0/1,000 persons

But surprisingly, I-VAWA’s Supported Program Activities say nothing about couples counseling or promoting family stability.

2. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is the second leading cause of partner violence. According to the DOJ, “the presence of any alcohol or drugs was reported by victims in about 42% of all nonfatal intimate partner violence.” (2)

But do a text search through I-VAWA’s various provisions—you won’t find anything that’s remotely connected to helping persons experiencing alcohol or drug abuse (3).

3. Emotional Problems

Psychological issues are also known to be a major cause of partner aggression.

Professor Ryan Shorey of the University of Tennessee recently did a survey of female college students to probe the link between anger, alcohol use, and dating violence (4).

The survey found that women who drank four or more drinks a day and were classified as “angry” were four times more likely to hit, kick, slap, or otherwise be physically abusive to their boyfriends.

Again, a quick perusal of the bill shows I-VAWA programs would turn a cold shoulder to these women in need of help.


Despite mountains of scientific evidence, the domestic violence industry continues to believe the real cause of domestic violence is patriarchy. In their own words, “domestic violence is all about power and control.”

So if you care about stopping domestic violence, support passage of a bill that would address the causes of intimate partner violence.

But don’t enlist in I-VAWA’s ideological crusade.

1. http://www.bjs.gov/content/intimate/table/wommar.cfm#
2. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipvus.pdf
3. http://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/hr3571/BILLS-113hr3571ih.pdf
4. http://www.medicaldaily.com/alcohol-not-marijuana-use-tied-domestic-violence-psychological-aggression-most-common-267973