Amnesty International Finally Responds, but Still Ignores the Truth
of Domestic Violence
On August 17, RADAR sent a five-page letter to Amnesty
International – USA about its Stop Violence Against Women Campaign,
complaining that the campaign violates the basic human and civil
rights of men. [http://www.mediaradar.org/AI_letter.pdf]
When Amnesty didn't bother to respond, RADAR put out an Alert on
September 19, requesting people to contact AI. The folks at AI
obviously got an earful, because three days later – that's warp
speed for an organization like Amnesty – AI head Bill Schulz
answered. His letter is shown below.
Clearly Mr. Schulz still doesn't understand that men are often DV
victims, and that men are often turned away by VAWA-funded programs.
But at least we got his attention.
RADAR will be following up, and we will keep you posted.
September 22, 2005
Michael J. Geanoulis
Director, International Relations
P.O. Box 1404
Rockville MD 20849
Dear Mr. Geanoulis,
Thank you for your letter concerning Amnesty International USA's
Stop Violence Against Women (SVAW) campaign. Our international SVAW
campaign aims to push governments, institutions and the public to
take responsibility to stop violence against women. AI bases its
work on the UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that all of
us are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that women and
girls are entitled to enjoy their human rights and fundamental
freedoms on a basis of equality with men and boys. In addition, the
organization works for implementation of UN human rights treaties
and the recommendations of treaty bodies that state that gender-
based violence, including violence in the family and community, is a
form of discrimination against women and that this violence is a
major obstacle to women and girls' ability to enjoy their human
rights and fundamental freedoms.
To further our goal, AIUSA supports Congressional reauthorization of
VAWA. VAWA was a major ground-breaking step forward in the U.S.
government response to the epidemic of violence against women in our
country. VAWA is gender neutral. Since its inception in 1994, VAWA
has provided immeasurable help to women, children and men.
VAWA funds have been and will continue to be available to violence
victims regardless of gender; male victims have frequently received
assistance from VAWA funded programs. VAWA 2005 contains
improvements to ensure it addresses the broadest range of victims of
domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
We believe VAWA has already made a great difference by helping to
train and educate officials and the public and by creating programs
to support families who are suffering from the effects of domestic
violence. We encourage all Americans to take action to end the
suffering caused by domestic violence, whether perpetrated against
men or women.
Bill Schulz, Executive Director
Amnesty International USA