ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD OPPOSE
Edward E. Bartlett, PhD
Right now VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) is in the final
"mark-up" phase in the U.S. Congress. Because of unexpectedly
stiff opposition, feminist organizations have been approaching a variety
of fatherhood groups seeking their support for the reauthorization of
Here's Exhibit A: "VAWA Reauthorization: Its Relevance to
Fatherhood Organizations," which was recently written by Allison
Lipscomb and published by the Madison, WI-based Center on Fathers,
Families, and Public Policy (www.cffpp.org).
Attempting to portray VAWA as pro-family, Miss Lipscomb uses loopy logic
to suggest, "With its goal of eradicating violence from the home
domain, VAWA serves as one essential thread in the family protection
fabric of which fatherhood groups are a part."
Lipscomb also hints that VAWA may provide monies to resource-hungry
fatherhood organizations: "Through its variety of programs, VAWA
provides funding to community-based organizations whose efforts may
overlap with the work of fatherhood groups."
These are the 5 reasons why
VAWA is profoundly flawed:
1. VAWA does not recognize the fact that men are as likely to victimized
by domestic violence as women.
2. Because VAWA regulations specifically prohibit the provision of
services to battered men, VAWA violates the equal protection clause of
3. VAWA gives rise to false allegations. Some attorneys now recommend
that women seeking child custody file a domestic violence complaint,
even if it has no basis in fact.
4. VAWA makes it harder for fathers to get joint custody. Once a charge
of domestic violence is on the books, the legal system views the father
as a menace to his children. And some versions of VAWA have proposed
that child custody be awarded to the "primary caretaker," a
code word for "mother."
5. VAWA promotes the radical Marxist-feminist belief that men as a class
use violence as a tool to dominate and oppress women. This simplistic
analysis does a profound disservice to male-female relationships. As a
result, VAWA ends up pitting men against women.
VAWA relentlessly scapegoats men as abusers and batterers. VAWA teaches
women to play the victim. And VAWA is responsible for the removal of
children from their loving father. VAWA is bad for fathers, women, and
We don't need a gender war in this country.