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Press Release: SAVE Calls on Anti-Violence Groups to Renounce Shaming Campaign

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

SAVE Calls on Anti-Violence Groups to Renounce Shaming Campaign

WASHINGTON / February 27, 2013 – A leading victim-advocacy organization is calling on domestic violence groups to renounce the shaming attacks and misleading claims by groups claiming to be advocates for passage the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). SAVE, an advocate for services for all victims of domestic violence, says such unfounded accusations invite ridicule and serve to discredit the movement to curb intimate partner abuse.

The Huffington Post has previously criticized harsh attacks on House GOP leadership regarding the VAWA reauthorization as “incendiary and extreme” (1).

Yesterday a group called “Friends of VAWA Coalition” issued a press release headlining the Republican VAWA proposal as being “nothing less than shameful.” (2)

The release claims the bill recently proposed by House Republicans would “deny critical services to many victims.” But SAVE’s review of the GOP bill did not identify any provisions that would restrict services for any group. One Republican aide specifically stated, “The House bill protects all people from discrimination.” (3)

The Friends of VAWA Coalition also charges the GOP bill leaves Native American women “without vital protections” because it allows the defendant to request the case be transferred to a federal court to assure constitutional rights. But Senator Patrick Leahy, lead author of the Senate VAWA bill, has termed such a provision to be “reasonable; a middle ground position regarding tribal jurisdiction.” (4)

“As a woman, I’m saddened and embarrassed that groups purporting to be working for safe families would resort to such extreme rhetoric,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “These mindless attacks only reinforce the worst stereotypes about females.”

A recent report from the Independent Women’s Forum highlights numerous problems with VAWA (5). A national survey found two-thirds of registered voters favored major reforms to the Violence Against Women Act (6).

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