Stop the Violence Against Women Actâ€™s war on men
The lead letter below was published in the print edition of The Hill on Friday, December 14, 2012 and is followed by the article to which it responds.
Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D.
By Gordon E. Finley, professor of Psychology Emeritus, Florida International University – 12/13/12 06:39 PM ET
While the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) claims to fairly protect all victims of domestic violence, in reality it intentionally discriminates against about half of the victims â€” men (â€śProgressive groups pressure House GOP to pass Violence Against Women Act,â€ť Dec. 11).
First, social science research literature is unambiguously clear. Domestic violence is initiated about equally by men and women; slightly more women than men are physically harmed, but men nonetheless still represent more than 40 percent of the physically harmed victims; the domestic violence initiation rates for women, and especially young women, have been rising; and the domestic violence rates for bisexuals, gays and lesbians all are higher than for heterosexual couples. Yet men receive no protection under the current versions of VAWA under consideration.
Second, the ideological foundations of VAWA discriminate against men. Conceptually, VAWA is based on the Duluth Power and Control Wheel model, which falsely presumes that all domestic violence is perpetrated by evil patriarchal males against virtuously innocent females. There is no research support for this false gender ideology.
Finally, by title alone VAWA discriminates against men. Given that domestic violence approaches 50-50 on most indexes, why does Congress want to serve only half of the victims? Where are the programs for male victims of domestic violence? Where is the money for fathers and their children who have been victimized by violent and abusive wives and mothers?
Standing in stark contrast to VAWA as written today are the words engraved above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: Equal Justice Under Law. Fairness demands a new law in the next congressional session that provides genuine protection for all victims â€” including the male half of the population.