The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for reauthorization this year and Congressman Ted Poe, Texas Republican and long time I-VAWA supporter, says he would now support re-writing the legislation as gender neutral...
Ignoring the mountain of evidence that women initiate physical violence nearly as often as men, VAWA has more than 60 passages in its lengthy text that exclude men from its benefits. For starters, the law's title should be changed to Partner Violence Reduction Act, and the words "and men" should be added to those 60 sections.
Congressman Poe, a member of the House Judiciary committee, argues that men can still apply for the same services women apply for under the current law, but said: "I certainly agree with equal protection under the law. And maybe a name change is in order."
He added, "Certainly, I think that"s something that we could consider, because the law applies equally between men and women under the act already even though the name says only women. So I"m open to changing the name. Domestic Violence Act. I like that phrase."
Mr. Poe also supports replacing the word "woman' in the legislation to a non-gender specific term like "person' or "men and women' or "men or women.'To read Picket's full column, click here. To discuss the column on Fathers and Families' Facebook page, click here. To learn more about what's wrong with the current domestic violence system, see our MSN.com column No One Believed Me (8/1/09).