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Washington Times - Letter to the Editor

Hans Bader
Washington Times
July 22, 2005

Dear Editor,

Gordon E. Finley rightly argues that the federal government should stop excluding male victims from protection under the Violence Against Women Act. ("Fatal flaws: VAWA 2005," Commentary, Tuesday http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20050718-092251-1716r.htm).

Data from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that members of both sexes suffer from domestic violence, yet the criminal justice system does not take domestic violence against men seriously. For example, the average sentence for an unprovoked killing of a husband is just seven years, compared to 17 years for the killing of a wife.

Allowing male victims to benefit from programs under VAWA not only would end unfair sex discrimination, but also would allow federal funds to address an area where society's response to domestic violence is most in need of improvement.

Hans Bader
Arlington, Virginia