When Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama announced his selection of Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) as his vice-presidential candidate, one of the two pieces of Biden legislation he saluted was the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Biden, who has long been the principle architect of federal domestic violence policy, spearheaded VAWA"s two subsequent re-authorizations and calls VAWA "What I'm most proud of in my entire career.' Biden means well, but he has consistently misunderstood the domestic violence issue and his legislation has harmed many innocent men. Given recent legislation Biden has proposed, as well as the promises made in the Democratic National Committee"s platform, an Obama-Biden victory would be bad news for American fathers. Biden says one of his main achievements has been "training police and prosecutors to arrest and convict abusive husbands instead of telling them to take a walk around the block.' While it is true that in past decades police sometimes didn"t take DV seriously enough, under Biden"s leadership, arrest and prosecution policies have lurched sharply in the other direction. The modern trilogy of mandatory arrest, the primary aggressor doctrine, and "no drop' prosecution policies has trampled the rights of the accused... VAWA has helped provide an easy avenue for disgruntled women to kick decent, loving fathers out of their homes and exclude them from their children"s lives via restraining (aka "protection') orders. In the wake of VAWA, there has been an explosion of such orders. When a restraining order is issued, the man is booted out of his own home and can be jailed if he tries to contact his own children, even though he has never been afforded the opportunity to defend himself in court. The hearings held two weeks later to make the orders permanent are often just a formality for which no more than 15 minutes are generally allotted. Many prominent family law professionals, including leading members of the State Bar of California Family Law Section, are cautioning that restraining orders are too easy to obtain, are often used as child custody maneuvers, and that there are scant protections for the falsely accused... Biden was a single father who successfully raised his two sons after his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972. Yet, paradoxically, Biden says in family policy, "Moms and kids come first.' For nearly two decades Biden has put fathers last. VAWA has greatly weakened the institution of fatherhood, and has harmed fathers and the children who love them and need them.Read the full article here.
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Biden criticizes 'notion that somehow because I am a man I don't know how to raise two kids on my own'
Los Angeles, CA--"Joe Biden did more for the equality of the sexes with his honest display of paternal emotion during the vice presidential debate than Sarah Palin's presence on the executive ticket has or will ever do."Biden visibly teared up when he rebutted the idea that 'just because I am a man' he didn't understand what it was like to wonder whether or not a child would 'make it' in recovering from a life-threatening medical situation. "At the time, he was likely recalling the tragic automobile accident that killed his wife and daughter and severely injured his two sons. It was an authentic, moving and powerful moment. It was, in fact, the strongest expression of real paternal love we have seen from a public official in recent memory and maybe ever. "By bringing that reality to a national political stage, Biden demonstrated that -- for all of us, not just feminists -- the personal is political, that women alone do not have the sole responsibility for caring about the future of our children and that the concern of fathers is a largely untapped pool of political energy."-- Leah McElrath Renna, Huffington Post As we've previously discussed, Biden is an admirable single father who raised his two sons after his wife and baby daughter were killed in a tragic car accident in 1972. During the Vice-Presidential debate he teared up when talking about the accident and his struggles as the single father of two inured little boys. To watch this segment on video, click here. My wife says, "We're all contradictions," and here's another one. Unwittingly Biden has perhaps done more than any other politician in modern history to separate fathers from their children, and to marginalize fathers in modern American life. Most of the victims of the harm Biden has caused are the same single fathers he movingly defended during the debate. The harm I refer to, of course, is the Violence Against Women Act. In my co-authored column, Biden Selection is Bad News for America's Fathers (New York Daily News, San Jose Mercury-News, 9/2/08), I wrote: