September 23, 2016

By Robert G Leclair

Former president Clinton and vice president Biden were staunch promoters and supporters of VAWA. Bipartisan support for the Act was clearly
voiced when introduced and voted on. VAWA in 1994 was enacted by a vote of 178 to 22. The 22 republicans who dissented were actually in favor
of the main goal of the ACT but disagreed on 3 very specific items that were not the main thrust of the bill. Unfortunately, the majority of senators
and congressman republicans or democrats are clueless when it comes to understanding domestic violence or the Department of Justice Office of
violence against Women's (OVW) plan to eliminate abuse and violence against women.

During the recent  (2013) reauthorization of VAWA , Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to dispel the rumors that republicans were
waging a war on women, saying "We're all in favor of the Violence Against Women Act... there's nothing to fight about." No attempts by democrats
or republicans were made to discuss how VAWA's goal could be achieved, giving a "blank check" to OVW and the authority to formulate any
approach without any scrutiny. Unfortunately, OVW implemented a radical feminist ideology and approach. We now know how that is turning out
and both republicans and democrats should blame themselves for failures and fiascos, if only they could take their heads out of the sand.

Hillary Clinton prides herself as being the savior of women’s right. Throughout the years she has supported and campaigned for the passage and
reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act without reservation or questions as to whether its approach was successful or failing to protect

In the year 2000 she wrote an article which was covered nationally by most newspapers. The title was: “CALL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN WHAT
IT IS…..A CRIME.” We all agree that this statement is true and accurate. Why then is Hillary’s statement true and yet so unequivocally hypocritical?
A brief history of the evolution of the domestic violence process by the judicial system reveals the hypocrisy of Hillary’s article.

1) Prior to 1979, the judicial system handled all domestic violence as a crime.   All cases were handled in criminal courts where due process,
evidentiary hearings and innocent until proven guilty are all part of the litigation. The judicial criminal process was by no means infallible, some
abusers slipped through the cracks. The main goal was to strive for the truth in each and every case of domestic violence or allegations. Treating
domestic violence as a crime was the essence of the criminal judicial process as stated in Hillary’s article “Call violence against women what it is…
a crime.”

2) In the 70's, radical feminists were concerned that many women did not file criminal complaints of abuse because of the difficulty and horror of
going through the criminal process. Many states adopted civil protective or restraining orders in response to feminist complaints. Eventually all
states resorted to civil complaints for all allegations of violence and  abuse.

The justice system established special courts to handle civil restraining orders and setup their own policies and procedures for adjudication.  The
standards were so low that restraining orders were routinely awarded in 99% of the cases. Women initiated the complains 85% of the time and
were  granted the restraining order 100% of the time by judges without due process or evidentiary hearings.  Most often retraining orders are now
granted based on a better safe than sorry approach when the truth cannot be determined or even when the allegation appears to be false. Those
hurt the most by this one-size fits-all approach are the women that are truly abused and disparately need protection.

Again, why is Hillary’s statement true and yet deceitful  and so hypocritical? As a lawyer and an activist in domestic violence, she should be well
aware of the judicial process. She once handled the defense of an alleged pedophile who raped a 12year old girl. Hillary knew and played the
system well, showing a thorough knowledge of the judicial system. What she fails to tell the public is that the introduction of civil restraining orders
opened the floodgates for false allegations or allegations on perceptions that are not based on reality . The political hypocrisy is in the exclusion of
these two relevant factors that reveal the flaws in the judicial system and that are totally ignored in any VAWA solutions to end the violence against
women. I support VAWA's goal to end violence against women; however, I am baffled as to why VAWA activists completely disregard studies that
indicate women can also exhibit violent behavior and why they also fail to integrate these conditions into solutions to end the violence. If they did,
the solutions would not be exclusionary and certainly would withstand the attrition of time to protect all women and children.

Hillary is promoting the VAWA ideology that domestic violence is of an epidemic level and that it is inevitably a crime. It is very disingenuous of her
because like VAWA advocates she is adamant that it is a crime and yet really does not want it handled in criminal courts where due process and
evidentiary hearings are required. The public is rarely made aware of this fact. Hillary and VAWA can’t have it both ways: either it is a crime or falls
under the criminal process or an allegation that falls under the restraining order process presently administered under the judiciary system as a
civil protection process that completely bypasses criminal laws. Unless all factors (including those totally ignored by OVW) are addressed and
reconciled in the civil process, VAWA's goal and approach are destined to fail!

Domestic violence is not just violence against women; it is violence against men and children regardless of the women to men ratio of violence.
False accusations, accusations based on perception only and when blame cannot be determined, should be factors considered in solutions to
eradicate domestic violence. Because the term VAWA was (consciously or unconsciously) a misnomer (violence against women only), OVW can
legally exclude any factors not pertaining to women whether or not relevant to meaningful solutions... regrettably!  Even Australia (Queensland) is
facing the same dilemma as the U.S; to criminalize or decriminalize protective orders?

VAWA...Violence Against Women Act
(authorized by Congress
in 1994 and reauthorized in 2013)

OVW.....Office on Violence Against Women
funded by VAWA
(Agency in US Department of Justice)