WASHINGTON -- Domestic Violence experts are criticizing President Obama's pre-election unveiling of a new domestic violence initiative, saying the effort represents a concoction of unproven strategies that betray the needs of women.
The Obama plan will promote wider use of restraining orders -- but research shows such orders are flatly ineffective in preventing future violence: http://www.saveservices.org/downloads/Why-DV-Programs-Fail-to-Stop-Abuse
The Independent Women's Forum has said such orders "lull women into a false sense of security," since a piece of paper is unlikely to deter a batterer intent on maiming a victim. Former Judge Milton Raphaelson of Massachusetts notes, "Few lives, if any, have been saved, but much harm, and possibly loss of lives, has come from the issuance of restraining orders and the arrests and conflicts ensuing therefrom."
According to a report issued Tuesday by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, lesbian and gay persons are nearly twice as likely to experience domestic violence as persons in heterosexual relationships. The report also documents cases of discriminatory practices and "verbal and sexual harassment of shelter staff towards lesbian clients:"http://www.avp.org/documents/2009DV-IPVREPORTFINAL2.pdf
"American women and men who face the grim reality of domestic violence in their daily lives are unlikely to be impressed by President Obama's plan," according to SAVE spokesperson Teri Stoddard. "Domestic violence programs should be based on solid evidence and research, and not consist of a series of disjointed efforts cobbled together on Election Eve."
An increase in female-initiated abuse has been documented in government surveys, but Obama's initiative is insensitive to a woman's request for counseling and treatment, or the needs of male victims. According to a 2007 Centers for Disease Control study, women commit 7 out of 10 acts of one-way partner violence.
Last week, former Playboy Playmate Angela Dorian took a handgun and shot her boyfriend in their Hollywood apartment. The 66-year-old Dorian was arrested Saturday night. Bail was set at $1,000,000.
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) has developed a Domestic Violence Fact Sheet:http://saveservices.org/pdf/Seven-Facts-Every-American-Should-Know-About-DV.pdf
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments -- SAVE -- is a national 501c3 organization dedicated to ending intimate partner violence through public awareness, training, and evidence-based policy: www.saveservices.org