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January 29, 2007
Contact: Mark Rosenthal, <>

One Million False Allegations of Domestic Violence Each Year, Report Finds

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 / U.S. Newswire / – Over one million false allegations of domestic violence are filed each year. These allegations often result in family break-up and the removal of children from their parents, according to a report released today.

"A Culture of False Allegations: How VAWA Harms Families and Children" documents how the Violence Against Women Act defines "domestic violence" in broad terms. That has given rise to one million claims of domestic "violence" each year in which physical violence is not even alleged.

Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, is on the record as saying, "Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply ... In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage."

An example of the problem is Dan Iagatta of Foxboro, Mass. A quadriplegic dad who is confined to a wheelchair, he was accused of domestic abuse by his wife and recently ordered to vacate his home.

"False allegations of domestic violence have become so widespread that lawyers now call them a legal 'slam-dunk,'" notes RADAR spokesman Ron Grignol. "Some are saying we should pass a David Letterman Protection Act to curb the problem."

TV talk-show host Letterman was formally charged with domestic violence after a New Mexico woman accused him of harassing her with mental telepathic messages.

Restraining orders are now seen as part of the "gamesmanship of divorce," according to a 2005 article in the Illinois Bar Journal. The RADAR report documents how these false allegations violate civil rights and harm families. As a result, children often lose daily contact with one of their parents.

The report was issued by RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting), a research and education organization. The report can be viewed at http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/VAWA-A-Culture-of-False-Allegations.pdf.

The document reveals that children who grow up in a single-parent home are greater risk of child abuse, academic failure, and a broad range of social pathologies. The report concludes that VAWA needs to be reformed to become family-friendly.

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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