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PRESS RELEASE

March 20, 2006
Contact: Mark Rosenthal, <>

Family Break-up Blamed on Intrusive Domestic Violence Laws

Rockville, MD – Well-intentioned laws can cause social upheaval, and children end up paying the price. That's the conclusion of a ground-breaking report, “VAWA: Threat to Families, Children, Men, and Women,” which was released today.

The report was issued by RADAR – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – an organization that tracks bias in domestic violence issues.

The report notes that the Violence Against Women Act has been helpful in raising social awareness about the problem of partner aggression. This awareness comes at a considerable cost, however.

Even when couple aggression is mutual or minor, domestic violence programs typically discourage partner reconciliation. The report highlights a study by the National Institute for Justice that concludes, “Restrictions on couples therapy and individual psychotherapy for battering are a point of contention between feminist-oriented batterer intervention providers and mental health providers in many communities.”

The report reveals how divorce lawyer matching services openly advertise on domestic violence websites funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The report also analyzes how state domestic violence laws provide incentives to family breakup, especially by making domestic restraining orders easy to get. These orders are issued even when no physical abuse has been alleged.

Family law attorney Lisa Scott reveals, “Protection orders have become ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in family courts. Whenever a woman claims to be a victim, she is automatically believed. No proof of abuse is required.”

Once a protection order is put in place, the children typically lose daily contact with their father. That places kids at greater risk for a broad range of problems, including child abuse, academic difficulties, and delinquency.

The RADAR report is available at http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/VAWA-Threat-to-Families.pdf.

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.

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