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PR: Cocoon of Dishonesty: SAVE Warns Lawmakers about False Information from Domestic Violence Groups

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

Cocoon of Dishonesty: SAVE Warns Lawmakers about False Information from Domestic Violence Groups

WASHINGTON / January 6, 2014 – A leading victim-advocacy organization is advising lawmakers to be wary of claims made by domestic violence groups seeking to enact new laws. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – SAVE — is issuing the warning after the Washington Post’s Fact Checker reported that a claim made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder turned out to be based on a false statement made by a leading domestic violence researcher.

In 2009, Holder made the startling claim that “intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.” Holder’s statement was taken word-for-word from a 2003 study published by Jacquelyn Campbell, a well-known researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

But Campbell’s statement turned out to be wrong, leading the Washington Post to say the claim could qualify for its notorious “Four Pinocchios” rating:

SAVE has identified many other examples of misrepresentations by domestic violence groups.

In the past year, SAVE reviewed the Fact Sheets of seven leading domestic violence organizations for accuracy and completeness. Based on the review, SAVE assigned a letter grade to the information sheet. In each of the 7 cases, the group’s Fact Sheet received a failing grade:

SAVE then contacted organizational leaders to advise them about the flawed information. To date, none of the 7 groups has corrected the erroneous statements.

False information is also found in the Findings of proposed bills designed to combat domestic violence. For example, the proposed federal International Violence Against Women Act contains 16 findings, of which only 3 could be verified to be truthful. All the remaining findings were found to be one-sided, misleading, or false:

“Victims of partner abuse are not served when domestic violence groups knowingly disseminate one-sided and false information,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “Lawmakers should assure that anti-abuse programs are based on reason and science, not a biased gender ideology.”

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