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Obamaland: Domestic Violence Awareness pre- and post-election

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SUBJECT MEMO:

Obama on Domestic Violence, in “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” (Oct. 08)

OCTOBER 2, 2008 2:18AM

Kelly Lark’s Open Salon blog

http://open.salon.com/blog/kellylark/2008/10/01/obama_on_domestic_violence

 

(1) About My (FamilyCourtMatters) Blog, Topic-Switching.

I see it as “Alternating Threads of Thought.”  There IS a tapestry involved, imperfect and news-sensitive though it is.  

Readers will find that I may skip from topic to topic among my posts.  One day, it may be recent news of family annihilations (in the context of divorce and custody).  Another, it may be my reaction to administrative non-reaction to this.  A third day, it may be a bit of history on the courts, or the next day, I post an article from the 1990s.  Yesterday, I tacked on a database (that has been lurking link-side for a long time here), about the US Federal Government, where your $$ went, and how to find out.

(On the $$, I am also working up a separate site . . . . sarcastically entitled “Administering Families, Serving Humanity.”  (“http://hhs-acf-ocse-et-al.blogspot.com/“).  So far, it’s not yet populated with a post.

Well, possibly that comes from having been a musician, and part of this time, a conductor.  Expect different dynamics, melodies, and energy levels.  It’s not just about a single tune (“Father’s Rights.  Mother’s Rights.  Best Interests of Children.  Feminism is anti-God.  God is anti-woman.  Domestic Violence.  Child Abuse, or “false allegations” thereof.  Parental Alienation vs. Post-divorce pedophiliac behavior.  Parental KIDNAPPING.  Due Process Lost.  Law and (dis)order. in the Courts.  Forensic Psychology vs. fact-finding when it comes to child abuse (or for that matter, IPV).  “Healthy Marriage” promotion vs. a single citizen’s right to protect herself/himself and her or his children.  (Boy, i bet THAT order of genders caught your attention!) … Sob stories, Statistics, suicides, femicides, homicides, familycides, or – – – – is it REALLY all just about the money?  Or is it social engineering from on high…))   

Clamoring melodies trying to drown each other out, true.  But on this blog (although I’m sure you detect to what tune my theme is generally pitched) the idea is to examine many threads, and pick up on the energy level, dynamics, and the cumulative expression.  IF the cumulative expression is diminishment of CIVIL rights and due process, we have a problem, folks!  If you come to this conclusion, then I have plenty of links for you to do some homework, or search terms to think about to validate / invalidate your conclusions ideas.

IF justice is being bought and sold at the federal mandate (or initiative) level, and the bottom end of the food chain, those with the most to lose in the matter of injustice, then we have a moral / spiritual / serious constitutional issue (which I think we do).  

OR, is it just about the heirarchy of studiers (and funding for the studies) vs. studied (the population to be tested, randomly sampled, and have the techniques re-adjusted to achieve a desired result — a GOVERNMENT desired result that was not subject to popular vote or poll) then we have a problem.  And that “we” is all of us but those who do not need a country to protect their assets, their families, or their livelihoods.  

So Subject Switching here is to be expected.  Pick your melody and follow it — or, just float along, feel the tilt and roll of the boat.  If  you have leisure for the “float along” blog-read, I presume you are not IN the system, because IN the system many of us (without personal connections, or personal resources, or a professional guide — or a professional guide TO the professional guides, who prey on novices) are water-skiers with one ski and a frayed rope, we need to pay close attention to the wake (of the motorboat) and find ways to maintain our stamina on the fly.  As such, we will be skiing faster and farther afield, and more dangerously so, than those in the motorboat.  If this is you, you might enjoy the thrill of it, or, having had enough, try to let go, slowly sink, and hope shore is within swimming distance.  Or, that the boat circling back to see where you were, lets you on board, and doesn’t force more of the same.

After all, a trip through the family law (and child support, psycho-jargon) system, or through the wide-cast trawling nets that reel squiggling, flapping, or stunned catch from the bottom of the ocean (or food chain, as it were), is going to change one’s major relationships:  With children, spouse, employment, possibly former social acquaintances, concepts of “liberty and justice for all” and a few more items.  

Therefore, it’s my blog, and it’s broad in scope.  If you are overwhelmed, welcome to it.  It succeeded in communicating — because that’s how families are.  If you as a bystander don’t LIKE supporting families (societies) trashed by this, then please come back later and chew off some more data and digest it, or chew it (but don’t inhale — former President Clinton says he didn’t, neither should you.  Take time out, but DO come back.)  And don’t spit anything dark and nasty at me, either, please!  Spittoons ARE available in comments, which I moderate.

Or visit some of the illustrious buttons I’ll be adding later today, and get another take on these items.

Speaking of visitors, this blog is getting viewers from many countries, including a few whose names I don’t even recognize.   Please make yourselves known in a comment or two — I get a little nervous when India, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia show up shortly after I’ve posted something with the word “honor killing” in it, or something about a brave 12 year old that said, give me the law, not your version of it — to her parents, when it came to marrying too early.  Then again, maybe it’s someone else taking heart, which would be wonderful.  I do wonder what West Finland, Sweden, and Scotland are doing here, and Washington, D.C., I’m citing your data and commenting on it, so “deal with it,” OK?  Los Angeles, if you’re the Courthouse, ditto!  

(2) Today’s topic, and how I got to it:

Intro:

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  Or, how many “awareness” days can you pile into one little month, APRIL, when at least in the U-S-A, many are most sensitively aware to the I-R-S?  I believe April was:  Sexual Assault Awareness month, Child Abuse Awareness Month, and in a few states, governors were persuaded to tack on “Parental Alienation Awareness DAY.”  After all, one needs to even the score every now and then, which PA is intended to do, and in some arenas, has more than.  The thing to become aware of as to “PAS,” however,  is its author, its origins, its prophets & priests, and the varying (and they do vary — radically) responses of various areas of professional expertise (and grants/salaries) Pro or Con.  

Well, I can now scope out the  “He Said / She Said // WE (the experts) say” sites, fairly quickly,  They tend to have more limited vocabularies, and the themes are fairly simple to follow.  This gets boring, and sometimes I like to check one of the regular news an commentary, and just search on a hot term:  “domestic violence” or (any of the above).  Say, “truthout,” or CS Monitor, or Washington Post, or, today, Salon.com caught my eye.  

In between other interests which kind of make up for, I suppose the years when the general tenor of the marital conversation was half a Bible version on gender roles (if you’ve been there, you know which one I mean), or reproof for not living up to my 9 /10ths of the imaginary marriage vows (as opposed to the one I said out loud, before witnesses), or reminding the holder of the 1/10th that if he was the boss and I was the hired hand, where was my pay?, and if working conditions didn’t improve, someone just might be short a hired (oops, “conscripted” hand) for the assigned tasks.  Or, recovering from the somewhat predictable response to such protests (see, eventual DV restraining order actually was granted, based on declaration, and in the company of a support organization which had been helping me survive emotionally, learning a few legal rights on the way, until this event) — part of my compensation is an extra prolific range of reading, on-line and off.  And, I talk to lots of people about their situation.  I am a personal data net.  It helps me navigate…and is entertaining at times, too.

So, I searched “Open Salon” on “Domestic Violence” (Parental alienation didn’t yield a single relevant result, which also tells me that this is a specialized vocabulary to this (Alice in Wonder)land, and, that (as in mirrors) normal words read forwards, but only make sense if you understand they are interpreted backwards..

 

And here it is:

(3) PRE-ELECTION PRIORITY:

Obama on Domestic Violence” (link):

OCTOBER 2, 2008 2:18AM

Kelly Lark’s Open Salon blog

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

The one time when all people are supposed to remember this problem, and perhaps think about it.  In my group, it is the month to get preachers to preach about the unacceptability of domestic violence.  A lot won’t though, because it “encourages” divorce.

I know it is a difficult topic. It is a difficult thing to live through and then admit that you lived through it.  It is extremely difficult to deal with on a regular basis in trying to help.  It’s a soul-sucking, terrible, situation to deal with these  women and their children trying to escape this violence.  But it is so much worse to BE  them, of course.

 But it is always, always, a lesson in the great courage of women.  The women who escape these situations with nothing but the clothes on their back are awe-inspiring – but they don’t know that.  They are simply terrified women  doing whatever they need to do to protect themselves, and more often, their children.

True, I agree, and Thank you, Ms. Larson. “Soul-sucking” is a great, and accurate description.
Thus, your soul has to just dig down deeper, sprouting roots & new leaves. The trouble is, without
adequate safety / separation, the abuser, seeing these new roots and new leaves, tends to escalate, point for point,
to stay on top (sometimes literally) of the power balance.  This is where it gets dangerous, and the individual has to 
face the reality that STRENGTH for the victim (or support) is perceived as CHALLENGE for the batterer/dominator.  Should she keep a LOW profile, or a STRONG profile?  She has to assess risks, while in the court system, she is BEING assessed as to how compliant and submissive she is to these new authorities, with a totally different paradigm, motives, and operating procedures.  For her personal integrity, and safety, she must CONTINUE to say the strong NO, and be backed up in this by the institution that delivered the restraining order!  Institutions also need to realize that abuse runs in families and that  not all families stick by the victim.  Their statements have to be fact-checked and sniffed for bias.
Therefore, She (he) faces a Catch-22, a paradox.  Society respects those who strenghthen themselves, and overcome.
But that abuser, if not repentant, reformed, or restrained, perceives this as throwing down the gauntlet, or as an emasculation (if the DV was rooted in that gender dynamic).  
(it’s a personal pruning as well). It discovers what it’s made out of.
I have experienced this escalation, and it frightened me, severely, to hear authorities trivializing what my instinct knew to be red flags.  I felt like the person at the end of the race cars, wildly waving the flag, but the cars simply didn’t stop.  Crashes later happened, which were then blamed, and clean-up duty was assigned.  (Sorry, that was personal commentary there)…

Ms. Kelly Lark says:

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so, I  give you  Obama’s statement today,

so we all know he has not forgotten us, and to hail Joe Biden for the VAWA act once more.

{{“Hail”is too reminiscent of “Heil, H_ _ _ _ _” and I tend to reserve mine for now..  How about, “thank” or “express appreciation”?  We are in a republic (ostensibly) not an imperial regime.  At least on the books.  Let’s wait a little on the “Hail, the Conquering Hero Comes,” or Palm Sunday, as it were.}}

“Today, I join all Americans in observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  At a time when one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, it’s more important than ever that we dedicate ourselves to working on behalf of the thousands of women who suffer in silence.  {{We WHO?  Some have been all along…}}{{I resent the characterization of “suffering in silence.”  Rather, the silence is deafening to those of us who actually do reach out, and report.  That silence after reporting is ALSO heard by our abusers, and may result in silence the NEXT time. So it’s often a matter of tuning the community’s ears – – not just to reporting, but to tthe laws, the edifices in place to help (and their shortcomings and conflicts of interest), and to the broader definition of DV than broken bones and blood.  And to its effect on children.    Leave it to a man to say we suffer in silence as a whole, although it’s clear many do…}}

Too often, victims of domestic violence don’t know where to turn, or have no one to turn to.  And too often, a victim could be someone you love.  That’s why, as a State Senator, I led the fight in Illinois to pass one of the strongest employment protection laws in the nation, ensuring that victims of domestic violence could seek shelter or treatment without losing their jobs.   {{Shelter/Treatment?  how about Justice/Law enforcement prosecution Help?  I don’t want to underestimate this, but I personally wasn’t showing up with broken bones, but still lost work through trauma, harassments, and direct orders.  Shelter is a first step only and these shelters have their own issues, too.}} That’s why I introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to provide $25 million a year to domestic violence prevention and victim support efforts That’s why I co-sponsored and helped reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. And today, I am so proud to have Senator Joe Biden, the man who wrote that groundbreaking legislation that gave so many women a second chance at life, as my running mate in this campaign. {{Well, I am thankful for that legislation too.  Now, are you aware of the groundswell of retaliation against it, or not? }}

{{$25 million sounds like a huge amount.  Spread throughout the country, and compared to funding already in place to WEAKEN the effects of VAWA (let alone a system that tends to do this, probably not accidentally) it has a different ring.  More, below  Thank God for it.  BUT, I have a question.  When I went looking — HARD — for pro bono help to support my 2nd application for a restraining order, or my FIRST contempt of the multiple thousands of $$ child support arrears, I found nothing effective.  Where was that part of the $25million.  HOW’S COME every time I faced my ex in Family Court (and someone coached him to get the case there, too), I see indications that he was getting financial support for legal help, and expert coaching on how to railroad my civil rights?  HOW’S COME when the ABA Commission on DV (or toolkit, you can look it up) advises clearly, along with Family Violence Prevention Fund (or “endabuse.org”)’s “toolkit to end domestic violence –which very fine toolkit, one now has to hunt for on their site) — when that highlights the IMPORTANCE of enforcing child support orders after DV, instead I found an agency intent on NOT enforcing it til custody was switched from me to the batterer, for the first time since we separated?  HOW’S COME when I went to a mediator, he did abide by the rules, and categorically ignored domestic violence, which was an issue all 3 times?  HOW’S COME there is practically no accountability (a “complaint form,” after one’s life was just upended) for quality control in this mediation — yet I see the whole system is adamant about mediation as THE formula, whereas organizations that do research say, it is NOT workable in cases where domestic violence exists?  So, the system makes a token nod — and in a way that eradicates due process (right to answer the charges one is accused of in open forum) by “separate — but unequal — meetings with a court-appointed mediator.  HOW’S COME that mediator “recommends,” but this should not happen in true mediation?  And many, many more “How’s Come’s?” come to my brain.  Especially as I began to review Federal budgets, emanating from the White House, some of which you will see below, shortly.

HOW’s COME?  with all the effort  ~ specifically coming up on a decade’s worth ~ ~ I put into getting free from abuse, with my eyes on alert, my mouth open, and my rudder set straight, it so far has failed, 10 years post-restraining order  Are we only doing triage and then throwing the flapping women up on the shore?  Or, are organizations focused on their own}}

  • As President, I’ll make these efforts a national priority.  {{OUT OF HOW MANY HIGHER RANKING NATIONAL PRIORIOTIES< SOME OF THE CONTRADICTORY TO THIS ONE??}} This month, and every month, we must fight to bring domestic violence out of the darkness of isolation ** and into the light of justice, especially for minority and immigrant women, and women in every community where it goes unreported far too often.  We’ll stop treating this as just a woman’s issue, {{WE WHO?  CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI, KAREN ANDERSON AND OTHERS HAVE ALREADY BROUGHT IT TO THE INTERNATIONAL / UN LEVEL, FAILING TO FIND HELP IN THE U.S. ON IT? WE ARE ALREADY CALLING IT A CIVIL RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE.}} and start recognizing that when a woman is attacked, that abuse scars not only the victim, but [“also” is grammatically correct] her loved ones, sending currents of violence that ripple across our society.  
  • {{On this one, the word “scars,” though effective is weakened.  It is already in the headlines, unchecked, it can and often does not just scar, but also KILL the victim and/or her loved ones.

  • Re:  “loved ones” — Future First Lady Obama, Michelle, help us here.  You should understand.  “loved ones” includes KIDS.  Why no mention here of the overlap between domestic violence, and traumatized kids.  OR, of DV and child abuse?  It’s not exactly rocket science on this, at this point, 2008!    I find “loved ones” too vague.  I love my KIDS.  I separated from their father, who was abusive.  He saw them, but he lost his privilege to LIVE with us.  In this, I, their mother, sought to make a point of what is and is not acceptable treatment of young ladies.  Or older ones.}}
  • We need all hands on deck to address this – [1] neighbors willing to report suspected crimes,{2] families willing to help loved ones seek treatment{{{Batterers’ Programs being proved efffective somewhere that I’m unaware of yet?}} and {3} community leaders {{DOES OR DOES NOT THIS INCLUDE “COMMUNITIES OF FAITH?? INCLUDING SOME OF THOSE ON YOUR ADVISORY BOARD??}} willing to candidly discuss this issue in public and break the stigma that stops so many women from coming forward.
  • {{Sir, with respect, all hands LOCALLY are already taking the brunt of this — nonprofits are overstressed, police officers responsding to DV calls sometimes lose their lives, too.  A woman (this is VAWA, hence the gender) traumatized, in shock, or in the hospital leaves a blank — an expensive one — in someone’s life; either her kids, or her businesses’ (suppose she’s a teacher?  Or in a place in front of many people?  Or a pastor?  Or a lawyer?  Or a DV advocated herself?  Or a woman caring for an elderly parent?  Many of us get attacked for being too “uppity” in our professions, and if we have managed to somehow overcome that, this is a professional disaster, which becomes a financial disaster all too soon”   So, WHICH “WE” DO YOU MEAN HERE?  HOW ABOUT POLICYMAKERS?}}

 

FINALLY, IN 2008, PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA SAID, PER THIS OPEN SALON BLOG:

“Together, we’ll make it clear that no woman ever struggles alone.”  (I hope so, I’m reserving applause, though).  I just reviewed the “We’s” versus the “I’s” (Pres. elect Obama).  I heard ONLY one “I,” only one promise.  And that was in the opening statement.  “AS PRESIDENT, I”LL MAKE THESE EFFORTS A NATIONAL PRIORITY.”  

{{HOW??  Tell us NOW what you — not all of us — plan to do.  After all, you want the vote, right?  What’s your commitment, in DETAIL.}}. . .  As it played out, I have looked already — this same remarkable “lack of detail” is in the White House Agenda.  I have already posted on it, and one of my top links to the above right is a 4-page summary of just how much of a “priority” DV is in the big pictture.  It is LAST on the agenda, and mentioned in appropriate token vagueness:

Department of Health and Human Services” (this is a link)

The subtitle (page header) reads “NEW ERA OF RESPONSIBILITY”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the Federal Government’s principal 

agency for protecting the health of all Americans 

and for providing essential human services {{LIKE<, STAYING ALIVE??}}

This (FY2010) Budget provides $768 billion in support of HHS’ 

mission that will bring down costs and expand coverage 


The reserve is funded half by new revenue and half by savings proposals that promote efficiency

and accountability, align incentives toward quality, and encourage shared responsibility (etc. etc.)

 

Let’s compare $25 Million (whether this be 2009 or 2010, the above promise is an indicator): If your high school math is in place, $25,000,000 / $768,000,000 = $25 / $768,000 = or 0.00325% (alternately, 0.0000325). National priority.  Now, I know that the USDOJ administers VAWA, but I am unsure whether its funding actually comes from HHS.  (I will find out, though!)

ANOTHER “QUICK LOOK” WAY IS TO SEE WHERE DOES THIS VAWA COME UNDER THE DEPT. HHS FY 2010 DESCRIPTION.  FOR EXAMPLE:  DOES IT MAKE “FUNDAMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS?”  Look and see (the answer is No).

Does it as such rate its own heading (no).  It shows up LAST, not bolded, in 4 pages of elaborate agenda with details of amount of funding:  The heading on alternate pages reads “NEW ERA OF RESPONSIBILITY” and addressing violence against women, or intimate partner violence (which overlaps with child abuse, can lead to homelessness and death, and does, etc., and has been tagged as potential cause of substance abuse and other troubles under http://www.acestudy.org (Adverse Childhood Experiences — see my link to right) — this does not make the “CHANGE.gov”‘s administrations honor roll, even.

 Domestic Violence comes under “Other Presidential Initiatives” like this:

 

Provides Support for Other Presidential 

initiatives.

The Budget includes funding to reduce domestic violence and enhance emergency 

care systems It also expands the treatment ca- 

pacity of drug courts including services to protect 

methamphetamine’s youngest victims Substance 

addiction is a preventable and treatable chronic 

condition and this initiative helps address the 

most urgent needs The Budget also provides re- 

sources to reduce health disparities, which the 

President has identified as an important goal of 

his Administration 

 

 

The sum total level of description, herein, are the words “reduce domestic violence.”  There is plenty more detail in almost any of the other 17 plans.  Each merits its own paragraph.  REDUCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COMES IN #18.5 of 18.

Hardly a “priority,” eh?  ???

Let’s check back at whitehouse.gov — maybe they did better for 2009: (I have also already posted on this):

FAMILY:

Ten days after taking office, the President established a White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families, led by Vice President Biden. The Task Force is focused on raising the living standards of middle-class, working families across America.

The President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided needed support to families enduring difficult times.

ALREADY I see I’m not on the map.  We were a middle class (lower) working family plagued by (my husband’s) domestic violence, which has resulted in him, basically dropping off the map economically since separation (FYI, part of the economic abuse, ongoing) and me being forced out of it back onto welfare.  So out of the gitgo, many families, being in this situation, are not on the map economically as to being rescued.  HOWEVER, let’s look.  Under the “FAMILY” is this statement above, that this AMERICAN RECOVERY & REINVESTMENT ACT is to help “families enduring difficult times.”

Domestic violence is long-term difficult times, until it is stopped, or the perpetrator is separated from his victim, and held accountable.  However, a problem arises (among them, jails are full).  ANother problem is the alternate white house agenda of putting fathers (ALL fathers, apparently) back in their kids lives.  I am wondering whether a female-designed program might just have accounted for the concept that under the all-inclusive category of “WOMEN” (in VAWA) are many MOTHERS.  We are approximately half the population, or 51% I heard?  Most of the other half came from some of us.  If the 1 in 4 abuse figure (25% of the 51%) is appropriate, then I think this is a significant enough percentage to merit a mention under “family” in our white house agenda.

Under “Families” are 7 bullets, none of which refers to violence within the families.

Under helping Working Families, it’s not mentioned either.

Under STRENGTHEN FAMILIES, do battered Moms (or women) (or children) make a mention?

Strengthen Families

President Obama was raised by a single parent and knows the difficulties that young people face when their fathers are absent. {{ DESPITE MY RAILING ON THESE SITES< I FEEL HE TURNED OUT ALL RIGHT.  DON”T YOU?  HE BECAME PRESIDENT. I VOTED FOR HIM IN PART HOPING HE MIGHT ALSO UNDERSTAND THE SINGLE MOM TAKE ON LIFE.}}  

He is committed to responsible fatherhood, (1) by supporting fathers who stand by their families and encouraging young men to work towards good jobs in promising career pathways. The President has also proposed an historic investment in providing home visits to low-income, first-time parents by trained professionals. (2) The President and First Lady are also committed to ensuring that children have nutritious meals to eat at home and at school, so that they grow up healthy and strong.

[The bold below was a technical error and will be corrected later]…

A commitment to stopping domestic violence, which is primarily targeted at women when it comes to fatalities, would most certainly help ensure that the children at least get to grow up, period!!

(1) “responsible fatherhood” is a code word for the uninformed, and boy is IT well funded.  By “encouraging young MEN to work towards good jobs in promising career pathways” I would like to note, WHAT ABOUT THE WOMEN??  It’s already abundantly clear it is desirable that the Moms put their kids in earlier and earlier Head Start.   The purpose of this is that we go to work.  So why do young MEN get our President’s and his wife’s special encouragement, while the young women, some of who are giving birth, don’t even get a mention when it comes to  “promising career pathways.”  What is expected?  Does he want us at home with our kids (but not homeschooling, which is anti-patriotic, I heard), or in the workforce?  Does he want to perpetuate the WAGE gap while attempting to narrow the health care gap?  What’ gives?

And, I would also like to ask, where is the respect here for some of the older women, who have raised children somehow with or without the benefit of VAWA, and are working also?  If we happen to be divorced and NOT playing 2nd string Mom to some children that were Healthily replaced into Marriages that the Federal Government approves of, what are we expected to to do?  Take up the slack in the VAWA funding as encouraged to do in the Oct. 08 speech above?

Now, while I see under “Women” this is mentioned, I just wish to point out that when discussing “families” it takes a woman to make one.  

“Prevent Violence Against Women

Violence against women and girls remains a global epidemic. The Violence Against Women Act, originally authored by Vice President Biden, plays a key role in helping communities and law enforcement combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. At home and abroad, President Obama will work to promote policies that seek to eradicate violence against women.”

 

On subsequent posts, I will describe some of the funding for policies that tend to do the exact opposite.  When it comes to $$ versus words,  a $$ is worth a thousand words, and paints a clearer picture.  

 

Other links on VAWA, not necessarily up to date:

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law. It was passed as Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 HR 3355 and signed as Public Law 103-322 by President Bill Clinton on September 131994. It provided $1.6 billion to enhance investigation and prosecution of the violent crime perpetrated against women, increased pre-trial detention of the accused, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted.

VAWA was drafted by Senator Joe Biden’s office with support from a number of advocacy organizations including Legal Momentum and The National Organization for Women, which described the bill as “the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades.”

VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 52006 

Criticisms of VAWA legislation

Various persons and groups, including Marc H. RudovGlenn SacksRespecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR), and African-Americans for VAWA Reform (AAVR), have voiced concerns that VAWA violates due process, equal protection, and other civil rights. {{ALL OF WHICH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ITSELF DOES….}}  None of these groups oppose laws protecting victims of domestic violence. They oppose laws that discriminate exclusively against specific social groups and deny these groups equal protections.

NOTE:  Click on “Rudov” (a name I’m less familiar with) for a sampling of the thinking behind opposition to VAWA

PICTURE ME IN THE AUDIENCE, EAGERLY RAISING MY HAND, AS IN A CLASSROOM, JUMPING UP & DOWN FOR ATTENTION.. ..  “Sir, Sir?   SIR??  I have a question”

Given that many “women” are “mothers,” and the Bush and Clinton administrations are avidly promoting “Healthy Marriages” (meaning, 2-parent households preferred, all others, go to the back of the line, when it comes to custody) “Promoting Responsible Fatherhood,” how are you going to reconcile the domestic violence restraining orders, obtained through the VAWA fundings, with the inevitable trip through the family law system, where another paradigm reigns?  

How are you going to reconcile “Promoting Responsible Fatherhood” {{=child support waivers (lowered obligations) in exchange for increased access (to children that may have witnessed Dad beating Mom to the point the law had to intervene)}} with the above claim.  As I am sure you know, those movements “rule” in the family law system, and are vastly outfunded compared to this $25million, though we do appreciate it?

Would it not be simpler to de-fang the the policies that are specificall directed AGAINST VAWA and AGAINST the right of a woman to NOT remarry after leaving an abuser, without losing the children that she removed from that volatile environment?

Or, I have another idea.  If the “communities of faith” continue (as they have) to operate as a law unto themselves (as they do) in the matter of domestic violence, being as clergy at least, many of them mandated reporters of DV & child abuse, how’s about you remove the tax-exempt status unless they PUBLICALLY post the laws stating that domestic violence, spiritual or moral problem that it is too, IS in this country a felony or misdemeanor crime??

I have another question:  It has been shown and reported well (see “The Batterer as Parent,” by Lundy Bancroft) that one of THE most important ways to help children recovver from the trauma of seeing a caretaker abused is to be supported in their relationship with the nonabusive spouse.   Are you or are you not aware that when a protective parent comes into the family law system, she is likely too get stripped of, in either order, her kids (and access to them), or her finances.  How are you going to reconcile the competing members of your supporters in this matter?  Are you willing to lose the support of some of the prior administration in order to protect women and children, and reduce taxpayer waste in these matters?
May I speak to your wife on these matters?  
Are you aware that the mere presence of a woman in a high-ranking policy post does not mean she isn’t sexist, still?  
ARE YOU COMMITTED to upholding the U.S. Constitution even if it affects your constituencies?
These are things I as a woman AND mother whose case was badly mishandled from the outset, right out the door of the domestic violence kickout order, and I believe SOLELY because I had children.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  You have conjured images above that don’t resemble the reality, the ugly reality of these matters.  You have called to a “we” but “we” who already have become “we’s” in this matter have questions about some “You’s.”  Are you willing to confront some of the “father’s rights” policies that have impoverished and put a risk women, mothers, coming out of domestic violence.  ??
I will look at the overall picture of funding, and not just a single, impressive figure, in assessing whether as President you have put our money (not yours, but OURS, as citizens) where your mouth was on this month.
WHERE I WAS IN OCTOBER 2008:  Unemployed due to unchecked DV.  NOT the economy (in this particular situation).  Disgusted with the previous entire year’s re-run through the nonprofits that don’t acknowledge that domestic violence affects job stability, and credit, with my inability to get EDD, but time wasted in the process, and with the lack of charity access to some very, VERY basics such as:  cell phone (for safety, and to receive callbacks from potential clients or employers), and bus passes, once my car went down for the count (again).  Without car, consistent cell phone (and yes, I called ALL that I could find of the supposed organizations to providei them), and without income to provide food even, my health went down and trauma level (exposure) went up.  I was also stalked this year, and mocked for reporting it to my family, but managed to squeak out a single police report.  
For some of us, domestic violence is not just a monthly awareness.
Add to this, my increasing awareness that all of this was avoidable if ONE sector had done it’s assigned job honestly and ethically.  I knew which ones, and I sought it.  I was rebuffed, and my kids are still living with their batters, as are many, many mothers with whom I associate.  
Where else I was in october 2008 was, losing heart.  But as I say above, we women have ways of sprouting roots and new shoots.  The cycle of jobs and relationships, though, is getting “old.”
Thank you for your time. . . . . . . 

Prevent Violence Against Women

Violence against women and girls remains a global epidemic. The Violence Against Women Act, originally authored by Vice President Biden, plays a key role in helping communities and law enforcement combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. At home and abroad, President Obama will work to promote policies that seek to eradicate violence against women.

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