September 29, 2008
Contact: Alan Karmin, <>
Over 16 Million Voters Harmed by Biased Partner Abuse Laws
WASHINGTON, September 29, 2008 – Over 16 million likely voters, representing 13.5% of the American electorate, have been harmed by a false allegation of domestic violence, according to a recent report from RADAR.
The federal Violence Against Women Act, as well as state-level domestic violence laws, define abuse so broadly and provide many incentives to file questionable claims. As a result, the system has become flooded with minor cases and true victims have trouble getting the services they need, according to Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting. RADAR is a victim advocacy organization.
Each year one million Americans are subjected to false or trivial accusations of domestic violence, according to RADAR.
Two weeks ago, Wendy Flanders of Leola, Penna. was convicted of making false allegations of domestic violence. According to a September 26 article in the Lancaster Post, Flanders had made over three dozen accusations against her ex-boyfriend, Ben Vonderheide. Flanders now faces up to 10 years in jail.
The RADAR analysis notes that a false allegation creates a ripple-effect that can persist for many years. It harms the person's reputation, legal standing, security clearances, career prospects, and financial status. In many cases, it affects a person's relationship with his children, and the parent-child relationship may be permanently harmed.
False allegations not only harm the individual falsely named, they also affect family members who may be barred from seeing a grandchild, nephew, or niece.
"Many of these 16 million likely voters are likely to switch their vote to whichever candidate, Democratic or Republican, promises to reform this out-of-control law," notes spokesman Ron Grignol. "With such a closely-contested presidential race, this is a hot-button issue that could easily swing the election."
The RADAR report, "The Political Argument for Fixing VAWA Now," includes both national and state-by-state voter analyses. The report can be viewed at: http://www.mediaradar.org/political_argument_for_fixing_vawa.php.
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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