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Summary of VAWA Campaign, Phase I

Twenty-seven organizations are participating in a national campaign designed to educate persons about the civil rights abuses of the Violence Against Women Act. The groups, which are signatories to a Resolution (http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/VAWA-Resolution.pdf), are listed in the Appendix.

The Resolution spells out three requests:

  1. The VAWA appropriation bill for FY2007 include report language directing the DoJ Violence Against Women Office to provide Congress, no later than December 30, 2007, with client utilization statistics of VAWA-funded programs and services, in compliance with the male-inclusive requirements of Section 40002(b)(8) of the 2005 Violence Against Women Act.
  2. The Senate and House Appropriations Committees support and approve President Bush’s budget request to fund the Violence Against Women Act at the $347 million level in FY2007.
  3. The United States Congress establish a panel to investigate the claims that the Violence Against Women Act promotes the excessive issuance of restraining orders, which often leads to family break-up and inappropriate loss of parent involvement.

The first phase of the Campaign lasted six weeks, from March 20 to April 28. The Campaign relied on the Internet, radio, group presentations, and face-to-face meetings to publicize the issues. It is estimated that over 10 million persons were reached during the course of Phase I of the Campaign.

I. Activities of Many Participating Organizations:

American Coalition for Families and Children advised its members about the VAWA Campaign on April 10. On April 24 ACFC put out an Alert asking its members to send a letter to their Congressman and Senators how VAWA violates civil rights and contributes to family instability. An ACFC representative also monitored the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing for the Department of Justice on April 5.

American Union of Men responded to the RADAR Alerts by highlighting the issues both locally and nationally that were in the news. AUM also informed all other lists (Mensrights and Mensmovement).

Dialogue on Sustainable Community contacted local elected officials in Congress and the local media in Illinois to inform them of the shortcomings of VAWA. In addition, we wrote two legislative proposals to address the issue of DV and parental rights, one of which we hope will be sponsored in the Illinois House and Senate in the near future.

Eagle Forum president Phyllis Schlafly released a column on March 30 titled “Weak Women and the Bill of Rights” which highlighted a case currently before the US Supreme Court. At issue is whether a man accused of domestic violence should be subject to prosecution, even if the woman refuses to testify in court. The article notes, “The Violence Against Women Act…holds training sessions for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to teach them anti-male and anti-marriage notions, and how to by-pass men’s constitutional rights.”

FATHERS e-mailed state legislators RADAR reports with comments and examples of local abuses of VAWA. We spoke with Kentucky State Senate candidate Carroll Hubbard regarding false emergency protection orders (EPOs). We left detailed a message with Senator Mitch McConnell regarding VAWA abuses, and gave a local example. We are currently working on a packet of information for Senator McConnell regarding VAWA abuses.

We are currently working on obtaining court video of false EPOs in local cases. We filed a complaint against a local feminist judge, Cynthia Sanderson (see http://www.kyfathers.org - File a Complaint - near the bottom). We are working on obtaining the results of a questionnaire regarding the treatment of men and fathers by the KY Dept. of Children and Family services that was conducted at FATHERS’ request.

Fathers-4-Justice-US (F4J) has been distributing VAWA campaign information via its member lists and forums, placing pressure on politicians to recognize the need for accountability and fair practices where it concerns domestic violence programs. A sizable portion of the F4J membership has been adversely affected by the egregious processes that are attached to VAWA. We will continue to work to change the smoke and mirrors used by the VAWA advocates to a purple color that symbolizes the truth, justice, and equality that we fight for!

Fathers for Virginia participated in several lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. On April 27, Ron Grignol was a caller on the Sean Hannity radio show, which has 10+ million listeners. Grignol talked about false claims of domestic violence and related them to the current Duke University case. Grignol highlighted that one-third of all divorce cases involve a claim of domestic violence. Hannity’s response was positive.

KRights Radio recorded 6 interviews and to date has sent 4 of those recordings to syndication. The remaining two will go out next week. We faxed the RADAR Special Reports and printed materials to over 460 federal and state government officials. We also sent over 726 faxes to media outlets. We plan to assemble the 6 interviews and turn them into a two-part syndicated program.

Men's Activism Network (NCFM-LA, NCFM-SD, Coalition of Parent Support, and Mensbiz) responded to each RADAR Alert by making phone calls, sending faxes, and sending e-mails to various legislators. On April 10 the San Diego Union-Tribune published a letter to the editor on “Domestic Violence and Men’s Rights” from Harry Crouch.

Men’s Custody Shelter Network informed members with e-mails and at meetings to make phone calls to the proper judiciary and senate offices. Many of our members responded to the request.

New Hampshire Chapter of the National Congress of Fathers and Children raised the visibility of the negative aspects of VAWA both locally and nationally with phone calls and letters. RADAR Alerts were modified, where appropriate, as letters to the editors with considerable success. We believe it is no coincidence that local domestic violence lobbyists and activists seem to be more reasonable these days. We are also in close contact with the office of Senator Judd Gregg. Lately they seem to be genuinely interested to know what we have to say about DV.

NHCUSTODY.ORG has been fighting against the most powerful and influential special interest and anti-fatherhood groups in the state. Shortly NHCUSTODY.ORG will turn to educating the public about anti-equality legislators and the discriminatory practices of current American social policy, including VAWA.

Shattered Men encouraged its members to write and to call their congressional representative and several indicated that they did. We have sent informational packets to all of the Indiana Congressman and Senators, to President Bush, and to the US Attorney General. We have also addressed the state level by sending the packets to the Governor, the State Attorney General, and state representatives in our area. On the local level, we have sent the packet to the mayor and to several newspapers.

Stop Abuse for Everyone - NH sent out e-mail alerts announcing the RADAR Special Reports with additional comments from SAFE-NH and the Report attached. We contacted our Senators encouraging them to read these reports and to take action to protect their constituents. Lee Newman, Executive Director, referenced the reports in 3 outreach presentations and conducted several discussions regarding these reports and the harm caused by VAWA to concerned professionals in various social service fields. Lee Newman also submitted written comments to be included in the minutes of the meeting of the National Advisory Committee on VAWA on April 25-26.

True Equality Network was featured during an hour-long interview on March 24 on The Divorced Fathers Radio Program on KSCO in Santa Cruz, CA. Terri Lynn Tersak and Chuck Corry were the guests. A third of the show highlighted VAWA abuses.

TEN also held conference calls with influential business leaders in CA, CO, MD, NC, PA, SC, TX and VA looking into how Qui Tam and RICO can be applied to deal with false claims of domestic violence and child abuse in the family courts. During the past month we have, collectively, interviewed 14 law firms regarding the application of the False Claims Act and protection for witnesses under Whistleblower's protection. In our conversations it has been noted the Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges that 57% of all claims of child abuse are completely unfounded, which includes those that are intentionally false. True Equality will be developing a campaign over the next few months geared to locate potential whistleblowers and victims to stand as witnesses.

Tulsa Area Fathers Rights Association held a 90-minute meeting with Senator Tom Coburn’s Tulsa, OK office to discuss the following issues:

  1. The staff was informed about the past, present and future dangers of what the VAWA has, is and will cause to society as a whole, and why the Senate should impose a stay on VAWA until further investigation is completed to look into false allegations made against men.
  2. The Senator's staff was advised about a man assaulted by his girlfriend. It was explained that this man could not receive any form of VAWA-funded attention for his injuries. The Senator's staff accepted the challenge. After a 20-minute resource search by the entire staff, the staff concluded that there were no services for men, although they found dozens for women.
  3. The Senator's staff was presented with case history reports of a victim of false allegations of rape and assault, as well as a case of fraud upon the court by a local women's violence shelter.

II. Editorial Writers released eight op-eds during the course of the Campaign:

  1. David Usher: Why VAWA Hurts Families
  2. Richard Davis: Mandatory Arrest and No-drop Prosecution
  3. David Heleniak: False Domestic Violence Accusations can Lead to Parental Alienation Syndrome
  4. Richard Davis: Primary and Dominant Aggressor Policies
  5. Gordon Finley: The Case Against Female Sexual Predators
  6. Carey Roberts: Restraining Order Madness
  7. Stephen Baskerville: How the Government Creates Child Abuse
  8. Gordon Finley: Female Sexual Predators: The Veiled Epidemic

III. RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting):

RADAR planned and coordinated the overall Campaign:

  1. Released 5 Special Reports, which can be found at www.mediaradar.org :
    1. VAWA: Threat to Families, Children, Men, and Women
    2. Without Restraint: The Use and Abuse of Domestic Restraining Orders
    3. VAWA Programs Discriminate Against Male Victims
    4. Justice Denied: Arrest Policies for Domestic Violence
    5. Bias in the Judiciary: The Case of Domestic Violence
  2. Issued 4 press releases, each of which went to over 16,000 media contacts:
    1. Family Break-up Blamed on Intrusive DV Laws
    2. Civil Rights Violations Widespread under DV Laws
    3. Abused Men with Nowhere to Turn
    4. “You Call, We Haul” Arrest Policies Violate Civil Liberties, Report Says
  3. Issued weekly Alerts that were posted on multiple websites and listserves, including Men’s News Daily and MensActivism.com.
  4. Made numerous lobbying visits to Capitol Hill.
  5. Submitted written testimony to the April 26 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, held in Dallas, TX.
  6. Did several radio interviews:
    1. Interviews by David Usher, all of which went smoothly:
      1. April 5: WVOM in Bangor, ME - 5 minutes
      2. April 5: WRVA in Richmond VA for the morning show – 5 minutes
      3. April 9: WSKY in Gainesville, FL – 5 minutes
      4. April 13: WBAL in Baltimore, MD - 40 minutes. Interview highlighted the Duke case and discussed how VAWA ideology drives false allegations of abuse of all types against men.
    2. April 2: Mark Rosenthal was the guest interviewee on the KSKA (Anchorage, AK) Public Radio show “Intercambios” hosted by Gil Sanchez. The discussion was wide-ranging, covering the misuse of restraining orders, discrimination against men in provision of services, the Super Bowl DV myth, the “momicide” myth, and the recent Joan Meier fabrication that 75% of men who seek custody of their children are wife-beaters. Steve Basile of Massachusetts also participated to discuss his recent study of restraining orders. Afterwards Mr. Sanchez indicated that he was pleased with the interview.

Participating Organizations:

Michael J. Geanoulis
RADAR: Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting
David R. Usher
ACFC – Missouri Coalition
Alan Rusmisel
Alabama Coalition of Fathers and Children
Michael McCormick
American Coalition for Fathers and Children
Tom Smith
American Union for Men
James Hays
Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc.
Paul Clements
Dads Against Divorce Discrimination-NH
James Semerad
Dads and Moms of Michigan
Michael Burns
Dialogue on Sustainable Community
Phyllis Schlafly
Eagle Forum
Mike East
FATHERS: Fathers Asking to Have Equal Rights
Dan Hogan
Fathers and Families
Roy Getting
Fathers for Equal Rights
D'Arcy L. McGreer
Fathers for Virginia
Jamil Jabr
Richar’ Farr
Krights Radio
Harry Crouch
Men’s Advocacy Network
Jeffrey W. Dick
Marc Snider
Marc Angelucci
National Coalition of Free Men, Los Angeles Chapter
Gary Gagnon
National Congress of Fathers and Children – New Hampshire
Pastor Kenneth Deemer
Shattered Men
Lee Newman
Stop Abuse for Everyone, NH Chapter
Philip Cook
Stop Abuse for Everyone
Lisa Scott
TABS: Taking Action Against Bias in the System
Terri Lynn Tersak
Gregory Romeo
Tulsa Area Fathers Rights Association