October 22, 2007
Contact: Mark Rosenthal, <>
Domestic Violence Laws Require Reform, Groups Say
WASHINGTON, October 22, 2007 –
Citing studies showing domestic violence programs are often
ineffective, unwanted, and even harmful, the Coalition for VAWA
Reform has issued a call to reform federal and state-level laws
designed to curb partner abuse. The needed changes are outlined in
its Agenda for VAWA Reform.
"For too long, victims of abuse have been re-victimized by a system that
ignores their wishes, escalates partner conflict, and fails to
effectively treat their abusers," notes spokesperson Elizabeth Crawford.
"Right now, neither victims or offenders are getting the therapeutic
services they need. The Agenda for VAWA Reform offers hope to find real
solutions to the problem of domestic violence."
The 2000 Violence Against Women Act channeled funds to states to enact
mandatory arrest laws. But according to a recent Harvard University
study, such laws increase partner homicides by 60%. And researcher
Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire recently reported that
"batterer programs are no more effective than non-treatment at reducing
Singer Amy Winehouse admits she uses her husband as a "punch-bag" when
she becomes intoxicated, and Mary Winkler of Selmer, Tenn. was recently
convicted of shooting her preacher husband as he slept.
Female-perpetrated abuse has become widespread, but existing domestic
violence programs do not provide services to help these women.
A recent research summary revealed that batterer intervention programs
are flatly ineffective, restraining orders do no stop physical violence,
no-drop prosecution has no proven value, and mandatory arrest laws place
victims at greater risk because they discourage them from seeking police
help. The full report, "Why Have Domestic Violence Programs Failed to
Stop Partner Abuse?" can be seen at
The Agenda for VAWA Reform highlights the need to reform domestic
violence laws in three areas: make them effective in reducing partner
violence, respect civil liberties, and protect the family. The Agenda
for VAWA Reform can be seen at:
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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