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NOW vs. Rush Limbaugh on DV - Who's Right?

Last week, NOW responded to comments made by Rush Limbaugh on domestic violence. Limbaugh stated:

"Remember when the NOW gang and all these other social interest groups started asking women if they'd ever been a victim of domestic violence? They didn't like the numbers they got initially. The numbers weren't high enough for the NOW gang. So they expanded the definition to include a man shouting at them. A man shouting at them equaled domestic violence. It didn't matter if the women shouted first."

Melody Drnach, Action Vice President of NOW, responded:

"It shows that NOW and other advocacy groups are on the right track spreading the message of domestic violence when even Rush Limbaugh agreed that domestic violence comes in all forms -- physical abuse, mental abuse and verbal abuse ... When Rush Limbaugh understands that shouting is a form of domestic violence, then we are on the right track. Then we did something right."

While Ms. Drnach is right that DV "comes in all forms," her disingenuous comment about Limbaugh's understanding of DV ignores the truth. RADAR Service's special report, "Expanding Definitions of Domestic Violence, Vanishing Rule of Law," http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Vanishing-Rule-of-Law.pdf which analyzes the civil domestic violence laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, concludes that statutory definitions have been widened over the past decade to the point that in most states, almost any action can be viewed as "violent." As Washington attorney Lisa Scott put it in 2006,

"Domestic violence has become whatever the man does that the woman doesn't like. Finding out she is having an affair and demanding she stop is seen as 'abuse.' This often triggers the woman to file for a restraining order, where no real evidence is required. In my 18 years of family law practice, I have seen this pattern occur over and over."

RADAR spokesman Ron Grignol would be a great guest for the Rush Limbaugh show. Please e-mail Rush at his public e-mail address (ElRushbo@eibnet.com), or if you're feeling ambitious, join his website to use the member's only e-mail address: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/private.guest.html?ck=1240605527331

Ask Rush to interview Ron about the continually expanding definition of domestic violence. Have the producer call 703-868-0535. Thanks.

Date of RADAR Release: April 28, 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