August 25, 2008
Contact: Edward Bartlett, <>
Victims of VAWA Call on Democratic Delegates to 'Fix VAWA Now!'
WASHINGTON, August 25, 2008 – Victims of VAWA will gather at the Democratic National Convention in Denver to hold a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, August 27. The vigil will highlight the need to reform our nation's domestic violence laws. According to a recent study, four out of five allegations of domestic abuse are unnecessary or false.1
The featured speaker will be Mr. General Parker, Democratic delegate from the 18th Congressional district in Illinois. As documented in an August 23, 2008 article in the New Media Journal, false claims of abuse have prevented Parker from seeing his son for three years.2 "Growing up as an African-American male, my son needs all the help he can get from his dad," Parker explains.
The vigil will also feature Ms. Sheryle Hutter, campaign manager for a Democratic candidate for the Colorado state legislature and vice president of the Equal Justice Foundation. Hutter's son was wrongfully accused of domestic violence in 2000. Hutter asks, "Why does the system allow an obviously false claim to keep me from seeing my own granddaughter?"
Other persons attending the vigil will recount their stories and share their support.
Presiding over the vigil will be E. L. Ross, director of the Family Solidarity Coalition in Colorado Springs. Ross is a member of El Paso Co. Democratic Club and worked as a volunteer in the Obama for President campaign.
The vigil is being sponsored by RADAR – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting. RADAR recently released a report that documents the impact of false allegations on working families, leaving children to grow up in single parent households and placing them at greater risk of abuse.3
The Violence Against Women Act, commonly known as VAWA, has spawned the passage of hundreds of similar laws at the state level. These laws define domestic violence broadly and require no hard evidence of abuse.
Passage of VAWA was first championed by vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden who has often stated, "What I'm most proud of in my entire career is the Violence Against Women Act."
Groups are now calling on Barack Obama, Joseph Biden, and other lawmakers to reform VAWA so it helps victims of abuse, safeguards civil rights, and protects families.
The vigil will be held 8-9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 27 outside the Denver Pepsi Center. For more information or to schedule an interview, call Edward Bartlett, 301-670-1964.
Foster BP. Analyzing the cost and effectiveness of governmental policies. Cost Management, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2008.
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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