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Amnesty International Finally Responds, but Still Ignores the Truth
of Domestic Violence

On August 17, RADAR sent a five-page letter to Amnesty International – USA about its Stop Violence Against Women Campaign, complaining that the campaign violates the basic human and civil rights of men. [http://www.mediaradar.org/AI_letter.pdf]

When Amnesty didn't bother to respond, RADAR put out an Alert on September 19, requesting people to contact AI. The folks at AI obviously got an earful, because three days later – that's warp speed for an organization like Amnesty – AI head Bill Schulz answered. His letter is shown below.

Clearly Mr. Schulz still doesn't understand that men are often DV victims, and that men are often turned away by VAWA-funded programs. But at least we got his attention.

RADAR will be following up, and we will keep you posted.


September 22, 2005

Michael J. Geanoulis
Director, International Relations
RADAR
P.O. Box 1404
Rockville MD 20849

Dear Mr. Geanoulis,

Thank you for your letter concerning Amnesty International USA's Stop Violence Against Women (SVAW) campaign. Our international SVAW campaign aims to push governments, institutions and the public to take responsibility to stop violence against women. AI bases its work on the UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that all of us are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that women and girls are entitled to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men and boys. In addition, the organization works for implementation of UN human rights treaties and the recommendations of treaty bodies that state that gender- based violence, including violence in the family and community, is a form of discrimination against women and that this violence is a major obstacle to women and girls' ability to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

To further our goal, AIUSA supports Congressional reauthorization of VAWA. VAWA was a major ground-breaking step forward in the U.S. government response to the epidemic of violence against women in our country. VAWA is gender neutral. Since its inception in 1994, VAWA has provided immeasurable help to women, children and men.

VAWA funds have been and will continue to be available to violence victims regardless of gender; male victims have frequently received assistance from VAWA funded programs. VAWA 2005 contains improvements to ensure it addresses the broadest range of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

We believe VAWA has already made a great difference by helping to train and educate officials and the public and by creating programs to support families who are suffering from the effects of domestic violence. We encourage all Americans to take action to end the suffering caused by domestic violence, whether perpetrated against men or women.

Sincerely,

Bill Schulz, Executive Director
Amnesty International USA