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NCFM Letter to Office of Violence Against Women re WV Ruling

October 16, 2009
By

October 16, 2009

Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

Jennifer Kaplan

Attorney-Advisor

800 K Street, N.W., Suite 920

Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Ms. Kaplan,

John Lucas, the Wisconsin liaison for the National Coalition For Men (NCFM), has asked NCFM to send you this letter.  NCFM was founded in 1977 and has members across America and in several countries.  We are concerned with harmful gender based stereotypes against males.

A West Virginia court recently voided the state’s regulations for domestic violence programs because the regulations denied abused men access to publicly funded shelters and denied women abusers

access to treatment.  http://cbs5.com/wireapnewsca/Judge.voids.W.2.1235700.html

The court ruled the Family Violence Prevention Services Board’s policies and procedures for licensing domestic violence shelters, certifying advocates, and distributing state funding distorted lawmakers’ intent and violated the free speech right of others. The court also held West Virginia administers the state’s domestic violence programs based on the wrongful belief that only men can be batterers and only women can be victims, finding “The practical effect of this rule is to exclude adult and adolescent males from their statutory right to safety and security free from domestic violence for no reason other than their gender.”

The cavalier and parochial behavior of West Virginia’s Family Violence Prevention Services Board, their usurpation of the intent of the West Virginia Legislature, and the lack of legal authority in which they have operated constitutes egregious maladministration and malfeasance.

Simply put, the West Virginia debacle creates a strong appearance of insidious corruption, an appearance the domestic violence industry can well do without.

The federal government must thoroughly investigate the Family Violence Prevention Services Board, affect corrective action, and ensure and enforce the gender neutrality requirement as a condition of providing continuing funding for domestic violence programs in West Virginia.

The Board’s provincial awarding of contracts to a select few of ideologically acceptable service providers reeks of power and control cronyism. The federal government should immediately order the Family Violence Prevention Services Board to open its membership to all interested parties. Any interested group should be

able to apply and receive fair examination and consideration of their proposals. The award process must be above reproach and void of favoritism.

This devastating ruling against the Family Violence Prevention Services Board questions whether the Board and recipient members have violated their federal contracts. Such violations of

similar federal contracts would automatically trigger federal compliance audits, if not Congressional hearings.

Regardless, it will come as no surprise if the Family Violence Prevention Services Board disbands and surfaces under another name to avoid further scrutiny, if not liability. In which case, all recommendations above must still apply and federal compliance should be rigorously enforced.

The problems found in West Virginia are widespread. Similar lawsuits are pending in other jurisdictions and will soon focus on the misconduct of similar ideologically driven unconstitutional programs

and confabs.

An assessment of the national Family Violence Prevention and Services Program found program accountability to be only 7% among its grant recipients, perhaps like West Virginia’s Family Violence Prevention Services Board. One problem is the FVPSP seldom requires meaningful monitoring of grant recipients, recipients which generally share the same gender biased attitude against men as West Virginia’s failed Family Violence Prevention

Services Board.

Accordingly, we ask that all domestic violence programs recognized or funded by, through, or with the assistance of the federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Program be immediately reviewed and held accountable to the highest of standards, including providing the same and equal treatment and services to

those in need regardless of gender.

It matters not how many men or women are abused, only that the abused receive proper assistance.

It’s hoped your legacy will show concern for all victims, to do otherwise will have history treating you other than you may wish.

Sincerely,

Harry Crouch

President

Cc: Director, Catherine Pierce and Others

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