MARCH 23, 2017 BY CCFCEDITOR
March 23, 2017–San Diego, CA; New York, NY; Sarasota, FL–California Coalition for Families and Children, PBC announces today it is expanding its partnership with nationwide coalitions including the Families Civil Liberties Union and the Florida Family and Children Constitutional Coalition to lobby incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions to de-fund federal grant programs. In a letter delivered today to the Department of Justice, the family civil rights organizations explain that in the 23 years since VAWA was enacted in 1994, billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent toward reducing family violence, yet crime statistics show that Office on Violence Against Women (“OVW”) grants to state and local social services programs have had no appreciable impact on reducing domestic violence. By contrast, such programs have had enormously tragic consequences in destroying families, careers, and lives. From the letter:
Shockingly, even though Congress has been dishing out billions of dollars to OVW programs since 1994, not one of OVW’s biennial reports has been able to present any evidence that the billions spent have reduced domestic violence. If there is a key question a crime-reduction program must answer, that surely must be: “Is it effective at reducing crime?” The answer OVW has offered in each biennial report since 1994 has been a stunning “We don’t know.” Yet we do know that each year tens of thousands of non-violent heterosexual men are regularly ensnared by sexist OVW grantee policies—resulting in destroyed families, destroyed careers, destroyed psyches, and destroyed lives.
It’s time to stop throwing billions of tax dollars into this ineffective—indeed harmful—swamp. The Heritage Foundation has recently estimated that eliminating ineffective OVW grant programs would save taxpayers around $4.7 billion from today through 2025. This hard-cost estimate does not account for billions more in emotional and fiscal loss caused to families ensnared in the ineffective and sexist OVW programs.
The letter details how the billions in taxpayer dollars have been diverted from traditional law enforcement programs to a vast array of social services amounting to a jobs programs for “3rd wave” feminists who deploy sexist stereotypes and radical ideologies**:
Despite that OVW claims to be a “law enforcement” agency, it is no such thing. Rather, it is yet another “deep state” federal agency that has “gone rogue” from its original charter. Rather than prevention of domestic crimes, since 1994 OVW has administered grant programs absorbing billions of dollars budgeted by Congress for critical law enforcement functions such as border control and immigration enforcement, drug and weapons interdiction, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, and tens of thousands of federal prosecutors and courts. OVW instead diverts funds to state and local entities through grant programs which provide welfare services not directed at reducing crime.
Far from supporting law enforcement, the OVW has evolved to become a multi-billion dollar federal government jobs program directed to benefit ideologically-intoxicated feminists and their male acolytes friendly to a radical anti-male narrative. OVW grants fund domestic violence related services—shelters, “community education” programs which indoctrinate local government officials with sexist anti-male ideology, “victim assistance” programs, and other similar services. OVW programs fund social workers, psychiatrists, non-lawyer radical feminist “advocates,” doctors, nurses, civil attorneys, and “training” of local judges and court staff in sexist ideology. OVW grant dollars are spent by such entities on regular “training” conferences—often in luxurious resort locations—which proselytize barely-veiled sexist ideology and implementation of discriminatory anti-male policies and practices. One recipient of millions of dollars in federal funding, Casey Gwinn of San Diego, California-based “Family Justice Center Alliance,” recently proposed using federal funds to install hair and nail salons inside of police stations to serve victims of domestic violence.
The letter also details the sexist, anti-male roots of VAWA, and describes how that anti-male prejudice has destroyed countless millions of families and innocent lives:
Not surprisingly, these anti-male ideologies have a monolithic explanation for all family violence—heterosexual men attempting to exert “power and control” over their female partners, who are cast as “historic victims of male oppression.” Billions in taxpayer dollars administered by OVW grant programs effectively bribe cash-starved local courts, family social workers, and law enforcement to abandon longstanding principles of constitutional law enforcement, in favor of radical feminist anti-male practices. For example, OVW requires grant recipients to adopt a “mandatory arrest” policy, which requires local law enforcement to respond to every domestic conflict with immediate incarceration—often precipitating immediate tragic consequences for the entire family. OVW grants require local law enforcement to adopt a policy of arresting the “predominant aggressor”—which is inconsistent with traditional, non-dv, policing policy of arresting the first or more violent aggressor—or both partners if equally culpable. The “predominant aggressor” grant condition effectively requires police to arrest the larger or stronger person in every altercation—which in heterosexual relationships is inevitably the male. No honest policymaker, activist, or academic–including even feminists–will deny this, yet oddly the sexist and invidiously discriminatory practice continues unabated.
Highly reputable and accomplished feminist activists and scholars recognize that OVW’s grant conditions are sexist, immoral, illegal, and ineffective. Feminist legal scholars such as Dr. Linda Mills—a highly-accomplished NYU law professor and University Dean—Erin Prizzey—who opened the first battered women’s shelter and hundreds since—and American Enterprise Institute Fellow Christina Hoff Sommers have extensively researched, published, and spoken regarding VAWA. They observe that OVW domestic violence policies were intended by their feminist creators to punish heterosexual men for all conflict within a family.
The letter concludes:
“If feminism stands for equality between man and woman, then solutions which invariably saddle men with culpability for domestic strife clearly are not feminist—but prejudicial perversions thereof.
The letter notes the abundance of community-based dispute resolution organizations which are equally if not more effective, are not founded on sexist ideology, are far less expensive, and do not require bloated agencies and intrusive government intervention:
There are many modern methods for addressing domestic violence which are not poisoned by sexist ideology. Restorative Justice—practiced by Dr. Linda Mills and others including many among the undersigned—is one such alternative. Other alternatives include Cooperative Family Law, Collaborative Family Law, and state-sponsored professional mediation. Where serious crimes are involved, traditional, gender-neutral community-based policing and prosecution remains available and at least as effective as sexist “one-size-fits-all” policies contrived in Washington, D.C. Such methods do not require new, bloated government agencies to administer. They do not require invasive and expensive criminal justice interventions. They do not destroy innocent lives. They are known to be just as effective at preventing violence. Yet despite OVW’s charter mission to reduce domestic violence, the agency shuns these viable, inexpensive alternatives for the single reason that they do not adopt OVW’s anti-male prejudice.