A federal law called the Violence Against Women Act is now being considered by Congress for renewal, and it certainly needs major overhauling. We are all against domestic violence, but there are many problems with the way this law is enforced. Women who make accusations are not required to produce any evidence of violence, and they are never prosecuted for perjury if they lie. Accused men are not accorded fundamental protections of due process, not considered innocent until proven guilty, and in many cases are not afforded the right to confront their accusers. Legal assistance is customarily provided by the government to women, but not to men. Men ought to be entitled to equal protection of the law because many charges are felonies and could result in prison and loss of money, job, and reputation.
Feminist recipients of this law's handouts use the money to lobby legislators, judges and prosecutors on the taxpayers' dime (which they are not supposed to do), and the results are generally harmful to all concerned. This lobbying has resulted in laws calling for mandatory arrest (that means the police must arrest someone; so guess who), and no-drop prosecution (which means the man must be prosecuted even if the woman has withdrawn her accusation or refuses to testify).
The definition of domestic violence and the standard of proof are so important because about one-fourth of divorces involve allegations of domestic violence. Judges are required to consider allegations of domestic violence in awarding child custody, even if no evidence of abuse is ever presented. The law should encourage counseling when appropriate and voluntary, as well as programs to help couples terminate use of illegal drugs.
The Violence Against Women Act, like every other spending bill, should be subject to rigorous auditing procedures in order to curb waste and fraud and to establish accountability.
Listen to the radio commentary here: