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Presidential Proclamation on Domestic Violence Recognizes Male Victims

In this year's presidential proclamation on domestic violence, George W. Bush said, "Domestic violence has no place in our society, and we have a moral obligation to help prevent it. The terrible tragedies that result from it destroy lives and insult the dignity of women, men, and children."

The inclusion of "men" in the proclamation is significant. Never before has anyone at this level acknowledged what researchers have known for three decades – that domestic violence victimizes men as well as women and children. Domestic violence is not a gender issue. It's a human issue.

Our effort last year to get the VAWA reauthorization bill to require service providers to stop refusing to help men resulted in explicit language in the bill, stating, "Nothing in this title shall be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from receiving benefits and services under this title." It's likely that this is what brought the issue to the president's attention.

But there are politically powerful groups that are committed to continuing the long-standing policies that place blame solely on men and refuse to hold women accountable for any transgression. In the face of such oppostion, most politicians would have taken the politically prudent course, and as in past years, would have acknowledged only women and children as victims. So it's important that the president's inclusion of that one little word, "men", not go unacknowledged.

Please send a note to the president, telling him that you appreciate the fact that he saw fit to include male victims in his proclamation on domestic violence. You might want to mention:

  1. researchers have known since the first National Family Violence Survey in 1975 that many men are victims of women's domestic violence
  2. this has been confirmed by nearly 200 studies and analyses by respected researchers (http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm)
  3. Congress has consistently ignored these findings

Send your letters to:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

or send email to:


Date of RADAR Release: October 16, 2006

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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