Carey Roberts
I-VAWA: liberal lies tempt women to embrace a radical agenda
By Carey Roberts
March 19, 2010

The International Violence Against Women Act, recently introduced in Congress, is a bill that purports to curb partner violence around the world. Who could ever be opposed to that?

But look more closely, and you'll discover a billion-dollar manifesto that is larded with ideological assumptions, logical non-sequiturs, and outright falsehoods. Many women may come to believe its alarming statistics and demand its passage — and that's what makes this bill so worrisome.

Behind its innocent-sounding name, the International Violence Against Women Act will fund "female empowerment" programs that would serve to break up families, vilify men as abusers, and leave millions of women dependent on the state.

The bill does that by defining domestic violence expansively to include "coercion" and "psychological harm," convincing women to call the police at sign of the first sharply-uttered word, and then slapping a restraining order on the couple that has the effect of precluding partner counseling or reconciliation.

I'm not going to claim that Democrats Sen. John Kerry or Rep. Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts truly desire to undermine the fundamental family unit. But the fact is, their bill is awash in a sea of Orwellian half-truths that are designed to scare women out of the protective embrace of the family.

If even half the bills' 15 findings were truthful, I might think about supporting the International Violence Against Women Act. But it turns out to be a sham, a scientific legerdemain that calls to mind the United Nations' now-discredited predictions on global warming.

Take I-VAWA's leading claim that "up to 70% of women in some countries report having being victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives."

Two years ago University of New Hampshire researcher Murray Straus published the results of a survey of university-student dating violence in 32 countries around the world. The results? About a quarter of the students acknowledged a slap, a shove, or other type of partner violence in the past year, and — get this — women were more likely to be the aggressors than men.

The I-VAWA bill deftly omits mention of that inconvenient truth.

Then there's the indelicate qualifier, "up to." Exactly what does that mean?

Turns out the "up to 70%" points to two obscure studies from Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea — and neither of the studies were peer-reviewed. That's the mistake the United Nations global warming panel made when it warned the Himalayan glaciers were doomed to melt by 2035.

The I-VAWA bill makes other claims that any half-intelligent person would immediately recognize as preposterous. Like the sky-is-falling claim that "Violence against women dramatically impedes progress in meeting all of our global health goals."


Around the world, the leading causes of death are infectious diseases, heart conditions, and cancer. So TB, malaria, and measles are all caused by partner abuse? Cancer, too?

I know it sounds funny, but that's what Sen. Kerry and Rep. Delahunt want us to believe.

Kerry and Delahunt also declaim that domestic violence is contributing "dramatically" to maternal mortality. Better tell that to the Pan American Health Organization, because they're on record as saying, "It is not yet known what proportion of maternal mortality is due to domestic violence."

Then there's the old chestnut that "1 in 4 women are abused during pregnancy" — that one is calculated to convince all the chivalrous souls out there to jump on the I-VAWA bandwagon. But wait! The World Health Organization's 10-country survey of domestic violence found the real figure is closer to 4-12%, not one in four.

Weren't liberals the ones who invented fuzzy math?

Overall, the bill contains 15 findings. Of the 15, none of them are objective, verifiable, and truthful:

That's right, the International Violence Against Women Act, to put it delicately, is filled with fibs. As a result of its ideologically-driven recommendations, I-VAWA is more likely to harm than help women:

Can we at least give liberals an "E" for Effort?

© Carey Roberts


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Carey Roberts

Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism... (more)

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