THOUGH Democrats this spring claimed that proposals to reform the draconian Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) represented a “war on women,” a new survey suggests that a majority of women voters are aware of the law’s shortcomings, particularly its connection to false allegations against men, and want it changed. The Global Newswire reports:
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A strong majority of registered voters participating in a national survey support reforming the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). These persons support measures currently being debated in Congress that are designed to curb the waste, discrimination, and false allegations which are occurring under the current VAWA law.
Commissioned by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), a victim advocacy organization, the survey shows strong support for reform among key voting blocs including women, young people, and domestic violence victims themselves.
Nearly 7 in 10 respondents — 69.5% — support changing the existing law to curb waste and fraud. SAVE has previously documented the lack of fiscal oversight of federally-funded domestic violence programs: http://saveservices.org/pdf/SAVE-Accountability-and-Oversight.pdf
Strong majorities also support reforming VAWA to stem false allegations — 63.5% of persons surveyed — and discriminatory practices — 65.9% of respondents — that the law has allowed.
About 7 in 10 persons who are a victim of domestic violence or who personally know an abuse victim support the proposed changes. Notable among the survey’s results are the demographics that support VAWA reform:
•Women participating in the survey are more likely than men to support reform of the Violence Against Women Act.
•Individuals under the age of 50 are more likely to support VAWA reform than those who are older.
•Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support reforms to reduce fraud, discrimination, and false allegations – although a majority of Democrats support the reforms, as well.
Survey respondents are not necessarily representative of all registered voters. The survey methods and detailed findings can be seen here: http://www.saveservices.org/campaign-2012/national-survey-on-vawa-reform/
“Even though we have begun the process of reform, America has a long way to go before true victims of domestic violence get priority and damaging false allegations come to an end,” says SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “No one knows this better than the victims of domestic violence themselves.”
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence: www.saveservices.org .