RADAR ALERT: VAWA Passes: Some Progress, Still Work to Do

Started by RADAR, Dec 18, 2005, 11:32 PM

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RADAR

This week's alert has a positive twist.  As a result of your
determined efforts, we have something to be thankful for in terms of
making VAWA laws applicable to all victims of domestic violence.

First is a revision that seems small but holds promise for the future. Section
40002 [Definitions and Grant Provisions] section (b), paragraph 8, now
contains the following language:
NONEXCLUSIVITY - Nothing in this title shall be construed to prohibit male
victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from
receiving benefits and services under this title.


A second provision we worked hard for is an investigation of VAWA programs
by the General Accounting Office:
SEC. 119. GAO STUDY AND REPORT.

(a) Study Required- The Comptroller General shall conduct a study
to establish the extent to which men, women, youth, and children are
victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and
stalking and the availability to all victims of shelter, counseling,
legal representation, and other services commonly provided to
victims of domestic violence.

(b) Activities Under Study- In conducting the study, the following
shall apply:

(1) CRIME STATISTICS- The Comptroller General shall not
rely only on crime statistics, but may also use existing research
available, including public health studies and academic studies.

(2) SURVEY- The Comptroller General shall survey the Department
of Justice, as well as any recipients of Federal funding for any
purpose or an appropriate sampling of recipients, to determine--

(A) what services are provided to victims of domestic
violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;

(B) whether those services are made available to youth,
child, female, and male victims; and

(C) the number, age, and gender of victims receiving
each available service.

(c) Report- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this
Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the
activities carried out under this section.


However, the language providing for funding eligibility of programs focused on male
victims did not survive. That is a disappointment.

Nonetheless, we consider this revision a step forward in the effort to get that proverbial
pendulum back to the middle.

To maintain this momentum, we ask you to send/e-mail/fax notes of appreciation to all
of your elected officials.

[list=1]
  • Tell them you appreciate that they were willing to be responsive to the need to
    serve male victims of domestic violence.
  • Highlight the need for continued monitoring of VAWA-funded programs to
    make sure that male victims receive the services they need.
    [/list:o]

    Contact information for your Representative can be found at http://www.house.gov.

    Contact information for your Senators can be found at http://www.senate.gov.

    ---
    Date of RADAR Release: December 18, 2005

    R.A.D.A.R. -- Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a network of concerned men and women working to assure that the problem of domestic violence is treated in a balanced and effective manner: http://www.mediaradar.org.

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