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Take Action Today: SAFE Act will Supercharge False Allegations of DV!

Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) recently introduced H.R. 739, the SAFE ("Security and Financial Empowerment") Act. If passed the bill will supercharge false allegations of domestic violence by granting lifetime job security to anyone who merely claims to be a victim of DV. By creating powerful incentives to file false claims, the bill trivializes the problem of domestic violence and would marginalize its true victims.

H.R. 739 prohibits an employer from refusing a job to any person who claims to have suffered from domestic violence or "substantial emotional distress or psychological harm" – words that can be interpreted to mean just almost anything. As hard as it is to believe, no hard evidence of domestic violence is required to receive these benefits – the "victim" only has to sign a sworn statement or get a restraining order, and restraining orders are notoriously easy to get because of the low standards of proof and weak definitions of domestic violence. Furthermore, judges are reluctant to deny applications for fear that they'd be blamed if something bad happened following the denial.

A family or household member of the DV "victim" is also entitled to the same benefits. HR 739 also allows any person who "is, has been, or may be the subject of abuse" to qualify for lifetime health insurance coverage. The "victim" would also be entitled to 30 days of emergency leave as well as unemployment compensation. The bill amounts to a lifetime guarantee of job security and availability of employer-subsidized health insurance for any person who claims to be a victim of domestic violence or psychological abuse, or for any family member.

And the person who allegedly inflicted the abuse has no right to refute or appeal the charges. Some readers might wonder if we're exaggerating when we say all this, but we're not – see RADAR's analysis of the bill here: http://mediaradar.org/docs/RADARanalysis-HR739-SAFE-Act.pdf

Suffice it to say, this bill is prime example how VAWA has spun Out of Control.

Rep. Ted Poe's sponsorship of this bill is out of step with his party's stand on economic policy. Please contact his office and ask him to withdraw support for H.R. 739. As always please remember to be polite.

Rep. Ted Poe (R)
Texas, 2nd Congressional District
Phone: 202-225-6565
Fax: 202-225-5547
Webform: http://poe.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm

Over 1 million restraining orders are issued each year in which partner violence is not even alleged. This so-called "SAFE" Act is the last thing we need. Take action today!


P.S. – Our last two alerts targeted the VAWA money in the stimulus bill. Although we were not fully successful in removing the funding, we did succeed in eliminating $75 million from the final package – $325 million instead of $400 million. Thank you for helping expose how VAWA has spiraled out of control because of the lack of an honest debate!

Date of RADAR Release: February 23, 2009

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