SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FEDERAL AGENCY IS NOT TRANSPARENT AND PLAYS POLITICAL GAMES?
THAT AGENCY'S MISSION LOSES PUBLIC TRUST, RESPECT AND CREDIBILITY!
The Office of Violence Against Women is one of the federal agencies that has compromised its mission and lost its credibility, resulting in a
failure to protect women from violence and abuse. The many reasons for OVW's mission failure are addressed in my book “Autopsy of
Domestic Violence and Divorce”.
This article addresses one of the reasons for the agency’s failure. My arguments are not intended to be political nor are they intended to be a
rally for or against the three laws recently enacted by our Supreme Court (1) Same-sex marriage, (2) Affordable Care Act, and (3) Upholding
housing discrimination law.
Not only did the laws sharply divide the Supreme Court, the issues sharply divided the country. Despite the divisiveness, the country must
accept the fact that these laws are now the law of the land.
So why then do I say that these three laws politically motivated directly or indirectly OVW and some of its affiliated nonprofit organizations?
One in particular is called Futures without Violence, a driving force behind passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This non
profit is heavily supported by federal grants and subsidies and totally espouses OVW's approach and ideology to end violence against women.
Take a look at the 2014 financial for Futures without Violence. Hundreds of other similar non profits affiliated with OVW that promote the
VAWA concept and approach are also blessed with similar or greater financial support.
The most powerful and financially stable nonprofit supporting the VAWA/OVW mission and goals is New York's Safe Horizons organization. A
peek at its ( 2014 financial page 2) reveals just how much money is spent on trying to eradicate violence against women. Between the billions
of tax dollars spent by OVW and the millions of dollars spent by hundreds of associated organizations for the past 20 years, the war on
violence against women should have ended several years ago!
According to experts and statements in the press, domestic violence is still an epidemic; however, OVW contrary to public opinion, tells
congress (Report to Congress) that they had success in reducing violence against women but there is still more to do. Ironically, in turn, that
tells congress we are winning but don't stop or reduce the funding.
Enough with the background information let me address the reason for this article. When the divided Supreme Court proclaimed that the three
laws stated above were now the law of the land, Esta Soler president of Futures Without Violence and a strong voice for the Violence Against
Women ACT made a politically motivated statement to her staff and volunteers in a widely distributed email.
Esta stated that the laws enacted are a “win- win- win” for survivors of domestic violence. She links these 3 laws as so important to survivors
of domestic violence that voting for them in the affirmative was a must in order to help achieve the main mission of VAWA and Futures Without
Violence. Why is this statement politicizing the mission of protecting women against violence?
Those who agree with Esta on passage of the laws see no conflict or evidence that her statement is a self-serving and political ploy to
influence the public. Basically what she is saying is that all three laws affect the war on domestic violence. And, t he beneficiaries of these laws
are the women who are victims of domestic violence.
Let me put it in a more concrete way when applied to the same-sex marriage law. Esta's article politicizes and dupes congress by saying the
law on gay marriage is helping domestic violence victims. Of greater serious political significance is the fact that her statement
implies that the millions of citizens who opposed the gay marriage law, including the dissenting Supreme Court Justices are
guilty of not caring for the survivors of domestic violence!
Also, Esta's statement “Now that LGBT couples everywhere can get married, the door is open to fortify existing laws that support
and protect all abused spouses” bears scrutiny and clarification as to how OVW and Partners Without Violence “intend to fortify existing
law”… whatever that means.
Same-sex couples have lived together or have been married in many states long before the Supreme Court enacted the law. Many of these
couples have experienced domestic violence and abuse and were granted restraining order by state courts. The judiciary processed these
cases in the same manner as all other restraining orders. The only difference now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land will be in a
possible and significant increase in the number of restraining orders filed and granted.
When political games are played, funding is often provided for new policies and procedures to stem perceived problems that are not normally
based on facts. Basically these political games become a self-serving money grab of no value to humanitarian needs! The win-win-win political
statement of these three laws will definitely be conveyed to Congress by OVW with a request for additional funds to fortify existing laws
that support and protect all abused spouses” while silently ignoring the fact that OVW’s approach is failing and is not protecting women
from violence and abuse.
In addition to the same-sex law falsely proclaiming that it is linked with domestic violence, the Affordable Care Act is also falsely linked to the
same domestic violence cause. The only difference is that this Act actually provides special insurance to help support victims of domestic
violence. This proviso could also be included in insurance proposals other than Obamacare as some law makers have indicated. So whether
or not you believe in the Affordable Care Act, the insurance help proviso for victims of domestic violence is not necessarily an intrinsic part of
Like the dissenting Supreme Court Justices, millions of American citizens opposed these laws for various reasons. Esta’s implied rationale that
anyone opposing the law is against supporting survivors of domestic violence is a politically motivated and self-serving approach. I am sure
that the dissenting Justices and the millions of citizens that opposed the law would not appreciate being labeled as not caring for victims
of domestic violence!
To the contrary, most citizens are totally against domestic violence and are ready to fight to protect all true victims of abuse...women, men
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)
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