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Unaccountable DV Programs Misuse Tax Dollars; Place Victims at Risk

"We have no evidence to date that VAWA has led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women." –Angela Moore Parmley, PhD, U.S. Department of Justice

Very often, bad public policy accompanies bad fiscal policy. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is no exception.

The quote above comes from a Justice Department official with no ax to grind. VAWA is ideological public policy in which true debate is considered politically incorrect. None of the discussions in Congress leading up to the passage of the original 1995 VAWA bill, the 2000 reauthorization, nor the 2005 reauthorization involved any real debate about the merit, or lack of merit, of the programs to be funded. The predictable result is that VAWA is filled with waste, fraud, and abuse. In short, ideology has been given priority over efficacy, and Congress' expenditure of roughly $1 billion tax dollars per year on domestic violence programs is yielding very poor results.

These problems are outlined in RADAR's latest special report: $1 Billion for DV Programs That Misuse Taxpayer Money and Place Victims at Risk. The report identifies three major flaws in the way domestic violence programs are administered by both the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services:

  1. Lack of Accountability
  2. Federal Mismanagement of Grant Monies
  3. Grantee Misconduct and Fraud

Please take the time to read RADAR's new special report at http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-DV-Programs-Misuse-1-Billion-Tax-Dollars-Per-Year.pdf. Educate yourself and your organization, and share the report with other groups in your state, especially those concerned with government accountably and waste. We need to start now to build a coalition to ensure adequate debate for the next VAWA reauthorization.

Date of RADAR Release: March 10, 2008

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R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://mediaradar.org