RADAR ALERT: Mr. Specter, Why are Disabled Boys Ineligible for VAWA Services?
Section 1402 of the Senate version of VAWA states how the funds will be used:
(b) USE OF FUNDS- Grants awarded under this section shall be used--
`(1) to provide personnel, training, technical assistance, advocacy, intervention, risk reduction and prevention of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault against disabled women and girls;
Note that disabled women and girls qualify, but apparently not disabled boys or men. This is simply outrageous.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and an original co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act, Senator Specter has the power to remove this discriminatory language.
This is what we are asking him to do:
1. Remove specific references to women and girls (like in Section 1402) to make the language gender-neutral.
2. Add clear and explicit language clarifying that male DV victims are entitled to service. The Senate bill currently has male-inclusive language, but we want to make it much stronger.
This is how to contact Senator Specter's office:
Fax (the most effective strategy): 202-228-1229
- be sure to put the words "Make VAWA Male-Inclusive" into the subject line.
It is essential get your message through as many times as possible. As always, keep your message short and sweet.
And PLEASE stay "On-Message." It is true that there are many problems with VAWA. But if everyone complains about their particular issue, we will end up canceling each other out. At this point in time, the most important thing is to make VAWA male-inclusive. That will get us a seat at the table.
We've come too far and worked too hard to dilute our focus. Please stay On-Message.
VAWA may go to the Senate floor for a vote later this week. Then it will go to the Senate-House Conference Committee to work out the differences in the Senate and House bills.
You can be sure our opponents will be pressuring Congress to get VAWA approved this week. We need to work very, very hard to match their efforts, fax by fax, phone call by phone call, and e-mail by e-mail.
Date of RADAR Release: October 1, 2005
To track the current status of VAWA, go to http://thomas.loc.gov
and enter the bill number: Senate bill S. 1197; House of Representatives bill H.R. 3402.
Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR) is a coalition of men and women working to assure balance in the domestic violence issue: http://www.mediaradar.org