CAMP Domestic Violence Press Release Victims Violence

PR: Verizon Video Teaches Children to Fear Fathers, SAVE Charges


Contact: Teri Stoddard


Verizon Video Teaches Children to Fear Fathers, SAVE Charges

Washington, DC/November 29, 2011 — A domestic violence video produced by the Verizon Foundation distorts the facts, plays on emotions, and serves to alarm and frighten young children. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), an advocate for domestic violence victims, has communicated with Verizon executives about the numerous factual errors, but the company refuses to correct its dangerous misinformation.

Titled “Monsters,” the video revels in powerful yet destructive stereotypes: fathers as abusers, wives as victims, and young boys as future abusers. “The child who lives with domestic violence… is afraid of the monster just down the hall,” a girl’s voiceover intones, while frightening images of a hunchbacked monster-dad flit across the screen:

Verizon’s aim in making the video — to help victims caught in abusive relationships — was noble. But the corporation is condoning the cycle of violence, since half of all partner abuse is mutual. An exhaustive California State University review of scholarship determined that levels of partner aggression are the same, if not higher, among females:

This past Sunday a Philadelphia woman struck her boyfriend with her car when he attempted to escape the vehicle. The man was crushed by the impact and pronounced dead at the scene:

And a recent Washington Post article documented growing levels of aggressive behavior among women on campuses and in schools:

The compelling — but unfounded — stereotype of an abuser population of men may prevent half of domestic violence victims from reporting their abuse, and half its perpetrators from receiving the intervention they need.

“This video is particularly disturbing since the use of animation makes it appealing to children. It smears adult men as the only abusers in a household, when the fact is women are as likely to abuse their partners as men,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “This video is dangerously harmful to children and to families.”

SAVE has documented that domestic violence misinformation is widespread and undermines the credibility and effectiveness of legitimate abuse-reduction programs:

Campus Civil Rights Dating Violence Press Release Sexual Assault Violence Against Women Act

PR: Senator Drops Controversial VAWA Campus Sex Provision, But Civil Rights Violations Remain

Contact: Teri Stoddard



Senator Drops Controversial VAWA Campus Sex Provision, But Civil Rights Violations Remain

Washington, DC/November 14, 2011 — As a result of criticism from Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE)  and other groups, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has dropped the controversial “preponderance of evidence” standard from his proposed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill. “Because of the feedback he has received concerning this proposal, he does not plan to include it in the bill he later will introduce,” according to Erica Chabot, spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee (1).

Language in the draft bill would have required federally funded universities to apply a lower standard of proof — a 51% “preponderance” of evidence rather than the usual “clear and convincing” evidence — in cases of alleged sexual assault or domestic violence.

SAVE is thankful that the Senator decided to drop this section from his proposed bill, but other parts of the measure still contain troubling civil rights concerns:

Due Process Violations:

  • Allows for the continued funding of mandatory arrest policies, which a Harvard study found to increases in partner homicides of 60 percent.
  • One false allegation can be used to tear apart a family: VAWA is an engine for the growth of single-parent households and the demand for welfare services.

Equal Protection Violations:

  • Provides legal assistance to accusers, and at the same time, denies it for the accused.
  • Perpetuates sex-based discrimination through biased predominant aggressor policies and continues due process violations.
  • Does not distinguish between those simply making allegations and those with probable-cause evidence of violence or abuse.

These civil rights problems are explained in SAVE’s Special Report, Are Domestic Violence Policies Respecting our Fundamental Freedoms? (2).

Violations of citizens’ civil rights cannot be justified by resulting reductions in partner abuse. The Department of Justice has acknowledged, “We have no evidence to date that VAWA has led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women.”

SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook says, “We congratulate Senator Leahy for removing the unacceptable ‘preponderance of evidence’ language from his bill. It shows that he is responsive to well-documented civil rights concerns. We hope that he and other Senators will now take the necessary steps to ensure that the many other problems with the proposed legislation are also addressed.”



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

Campus False Allegations Press Release Sexual Assault Victims Violence Violence Against Women Act

PR: False Accusations of Sexual Harassment May Soar, SAVE Warns


Contact: Teri Stoddard


False Accusations of Sexual Harassment May Soar, SAVE Warns

Washington, DC/November 8, 2011 – The National Association of Scholars recently released a position paper condemning an Education Department directive that forces colleges to remove fundamental due process protections from persons accused of sexual harassment. The statement describes the Dept. of Education mandate as “ominous,” bordering on the “surreal,” and excluding any mention of free speech.

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) position statement follows similar letters by the American Association for University Professors, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and Stop Abusive and Violent Environments:

Concerns about false allegations in society have escalated in the past week as a growing number of persons have questioned the validity of accusations by two unnamed women that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed them over 10 years ago. Leading Democratic politicians have been subjected to false allegations of sexual offenses, as well.

The Department of Education directive mandates that all colleges receiving federal funds change the usual “clear and convincing” standard to “preponderance of evidence.” This low standard requires only that 50.01 percent of the evidence be in favor of an offense having happened in order to reach a conviction.

Of greater concern, the draft of the federal Violence Against Women Act, currently being circulated by Senator Patrick Leahy, proposes to turn the Department of Education directive into statutory law. “It really is strange for a bill to delegate to a federal agency the power to lower due process protections and standards of proof. I believe that is unprecedented,” says Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“The consensus among academics is that the proposed VAWA would turn campus disciplinary committees into veritable Kangaroo Courts, thus increasing the number of false allegations by leaps and bounds,” warns SAVE spokesman Philip Cook.

A student who was wrongfully expelled by the University of North Dakota after a cavalier investigation of sexual assault charges against him is a recent example:

Over the last 20 years, sexual harassment policies on college campuses have become increasingly neglectful of Constitutional protections, reveals the NAS. In one case, a professor of history was handed a pink slip, unaware of the accusation or of a clandestine investigation being conducted against him.

SAVE calls on Senator Leahy’s proposed Violence Against Women Act to protect the civil rights of the accused so the credibility of true victims is not diminished by trivial and non-meritorious claims.

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

False Allegations Press Release Sexual Assault Violence Violence Against Women Act

PR: Bogus Sex Harassment Claims on the Upswing, Says Victim Rights Group


Contact: Teri Stoddard

Bogus Sex Harassment Claims on the Upswing, Says Victim Rights Group

WASHINGTON/ November 1 – Following recent publication of sexual harassment claims against presidential candidate Herman Cain, a leading victim-rights organization is deploring the use of such accusations as a political maneuver. Resurrected in the middle of a closely fought political campaign, such allegations rob true victims of their credibility and trivialize the problem, according to Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.

This past Sunday, Politico published an article that recounted charges by two unnamed women of alleged “inappropriate behavior” by Herman Cain when he was the president of the National Restaurant Association. The Politico essay describes the behavior as “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature” and “physical gestures that were not overtly sexual.”

False allegations of sexual misconduct have been leveled against candidates of both political parties, including former vice president Al Gore and Massachusetts senator Scott Brown.

The former wife of Democratic congressman Al Wynn (Maryland) once threatened to throw herself down a flight of stairs and then accuse him of attacking her in order to “ruin your political career.” In 2006, former Republican congressman John Sweeney (New York) narrowly lost his re-election bid following a planted media account of domestic violence.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that conduct must be “severe” or “pervasive” in order to be deemed sexual harassment. The women never alleged that Cain made any inappropriate requests or that his behavior was pervasive. The decade-old claim that his comments or gestures were “severe” is unlikely.

“We live in a society in which false claims are on the brink of becoming the norm,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “Much of the problem can be traced to federal laws like the Violence Against Women Act that, despite the considerable good they do, in some ways encourage scurrilous accusations.”

SAVE is recommending that the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act contain strong language to discourage false allegations, including narrowing definitions of abuse, giving priority to victims with evidence of physical abuse, and providing legal help to the accused on the same footing as accusers:

One in 10 persons has been falsely accused of abuse, according to a national survey conducted by SAVE:


SAVE is a victim rights organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence: