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PRESS RELEASE: Dr. Phil’s Testimony was ‘Reckless and False,’ Group Charges


Dr. Phil’s Testimony was ‘Reckless and False,’ Group Charges

WASHINGTON / July 25, 2011 – Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, a national victim-advocacy organization, is charging that Dr. Phillip McGraw, a TV personality known to many as Dr. Phil, made claims at a recent Senate committee hearing that were “reckless and false.”

Dr. McGraw’s testimony was given during a July 13 hearing on the Violence Against Women Act held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. McGraw, a psychologist, often appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

During his testimony, Dr. McGraw made repeated statements about violence against women, but glossed over the widespread problem of abuse against men. McGraw made a number of claims that were flatly wrong, SAVE alleges.

Dr. McGraw asserted that “Domestic violence is now the most common cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44.” But the actual leading causes of injury to women are falls, overexertion, and car accidents. McGraw told the senators that “In too many situations violence against women, young and old, is almost treated as an ‘acceptable crime.’” But that statement ignores research showing over 90% of Americans abhor domestic violence.

Dr. McGraw’s testimony “is reminiscent of the Jim Crow rape scares that focused on black-on-white rape, while studiously ignoring the problem of white-on-white sexual assault,” the SAVE letter explains.

“Two weeks ago Catherine Becker allegedly sliced off her husband’s penis and tossed it in the garbage disposal,” notes SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “The gruesome incident took place just miles from Dr. Phil’s southern California home. But by the time Dr. McGraw arrived in Washington for the hearing, all awareness of male victimization seemingly had vanished from his mind.”

Women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners, according to a research summary compiled by Dr. Martin Fiebert of California State University.

A copy of the SAVE letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee can be seen here:

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner abuse:

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Partner Violence Reduction Act Brings Hope to Victims

Partner Violence Reduction Act Brings Hope to Victims

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Aiming to strengthen the federal Violence Against Women Act, today the Partner Violence Reduction Act was released for consideration and future enactment by the United State Congress. The proposed law was developed by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – SAVE – a national victim-advocacy organization.

The Partner Violence Reduction Act will bring hope to abuse victims such as Ebonee Barnes, mother of three. Writing in a Philadelphia-area newspaper, Barnes recently revealed that the “shelters they place us in are beyond unlivable.”

The Partner Violence Reduction Act will also offer hope to persons like Sean Lanigan, a northern Virginia teacher who was falsely accused by a student of sexual assault. As featured in a recent Washington Post expose, the school district refused to restore Lanigan’s full teaching privileges even after a jury found him innocent of all charges.

And the Partner Violence Reduction Act will kindle hope among victims of domestic violence who have been refused help on account of their sex or gender identity. The PVRA will ban discriminatory practices by abuse shelters and other domestic violence services.

Part of the problem stems from overly-broad definitions of abuse. “Right now, just raising your voice counts as ‘domestic violence,’ which clogs the system with trivial and even false complaints,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “That forces persons in life-threatening situations to wait their turn and hope for the best.”

The Partner Violence Reduction Act:

  1. Gives first priority to real victims and reduces false allegations by constraining definitions and distinguishing between an allegation and a judicial finding of domestic violence.
  2. Makes the law gender-inclusive and removes discriminatory policies.
  3. Seeks to protect and restore families when the abuse is minor.
  4. Removes harmful mandatory arrest, predominant aggressor, and no-drop prosecution policies, thus helping to restore due process.
  5. Allows legal assistance to be provided both to the alleged victim and alleged offender.
  6. Improves the accountability of domestic violence organizations.
  7. Curbs immigration fraud.
  8. Removes provisions that violate the Constitution and restores civil rights to the accused.