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PR: Violence Against Women Act Poses Threat to Civil Rights, Group Charges

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Contact: Teri Stoddard

Violence Against Women Act Poses Threat to Civil Rights, Group Charges

Washington, DC/March 19, 2012 – A recently issued report highlights a broad range of civil rights abuses that arise from policies endorsed by the federal Violence Against Women Act: The report, from Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), reveals the number of citizens whose rights have been impaired by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reaches about 30 million persons.

Last month, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) proposed a reauthorization of VAWA, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor. But for the first time in VAWA’s history, the bill encountered strong opposition. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), aware of VAWA’s many flaws, offered an alternative bill, but that bill did not pass out of committee.

SAVE’s report documents 10 fundamental rights and protections that are being harmed by the Violence Against Women Act:

  1. Protection against libel and slander
  2. Freedom of speech
  3. Protection against governmental intrusion
  4. Right to due process of law
  5. Freedom to marry and the right to privacy in family matters
  6. Right to parent one’s own children
  7. Right to keep and bear arms
  8. Equal protection of the laws
  9. Right to be secure in one’s person
  10. Right to a fair trial

“Indiscriminate restraining orders, unconstitutional standards of evidence, and arrests without probable cause have been ravaging this country since VAWA’s passage in 1994,” SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook notes. “The civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities have been especially hard-hit by strong-arm domestic violence policies.”

The abridgement of men’s rights has also been allowed to flourish under the VAWA, the report documents. Family law attorney Lisa Scott has warned, “Don’t call 911 unless you are bleeding and she still has a weapon in her hand.”

SAVE, an advocate for all victims of domestic violence, is working to reform federal domestic violence statutes so they both protect victims and affirm the civil rights of the accused.

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