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April 28, 2009
Contact: Ron Grignol, <>

NOW vs. Rush Limbaugh on DV - Who's Right?

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2009 – Last week NOW, and the blogs Media Matters and Daily Kos attacked Rush Limbaugh for saying on the air:

"Remember when the NOW gang and all these other social interest groups started asking women if they'd ever been a victim of domestic violence? They didn't like the numbers they got initially. The numbers weren't high enough for the NOW gang. So they expanded the definition to include a man shouting at them. A man shouting at them equaled domestic violence. It didn't matter if the women shouted first."

Melody Drnach, Action Vice President of NOW, responded:

"It shows that NOW and other advocacy groups are on the right track spreading the message of domestic violence when even Rush Limbaugh agreed that domestic violence comes in all forms – physical abuse, mental abuse and verbal abuse ... When Rush Limbaugh understands that shouting is a form of domestic violence, then we are on the right track. Then we did something right."

Washington attorney Lisa Scott explains:

"Domestic violence has become whatever the man does that the woman doesn't like. Finding out she is having an affair and demanding she stop is seen as 'abuse.' This often triggers the woman to file for a restraining order, where no real evidence is required. In my 18 years of family law practice, I have seen this pattern occur over and over."

Congress currently spends approx. $1 billion (!) annually on domestic violence programs, and the recent economic stimulus bill just added another $325 million. Additionally, domestic violence programs often receive sizeable private donations as well as state and local funding.

RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) reports that Congressional spending this year works out to approximately $2,948 per female domestic violence victim. (http://www.mediaradar.org/alert20090420.php)

The 2010 demand for a funding increase amounts to an additional $623 per female domestic violence victim every year. Meanwhile, federal funding for male victims is negligible.

Domestic violence advocates often claim that 33% of women are domestic violence victims, but according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice the actual percentage of women victimized by their intimate partners is 0.36%.

"I don't doubt that NOW and other DV advocates truly concerned for the wellbeing of real victims, as are we," says RADAR spokesman Ron Grignol. "True victims of domestic violence should get all the help they need. But it's unconscionable that DV advocates continually expand the definition, so they can increase their share of Congressional funding while promoting their anti-family agenda."

According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the rate of domestic violence in intact families is roughly 10 times lower than in any other family arrangement.

Mr. General Parker, RADAR spokesman and Obama delegate at last summer's Democratic Convention, says, "I don't often agree with Rush but his comments about the continual expansion of the definition of domestic violence are correct. When a woman shouts at a man this is considered normal family behavior. But if a man shouts back, he can be removed from his house and separated from his children."

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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