POLITICAL HYPOCRISY ADVERSELY AFFECTS THE
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA)
By Robert G. Leclair
Former president Clinton and vice president Biden were staunch promoters and supporters of VAWA. Bipartisan
support for the Act was clearly voiced when introduced and voted on. VAWA in 1994 was enacted by a vote of 178
to 22. The 22 republicans who dissented were actually in favor of the main goal of the ACT but disagreed on 3
very specific items that were not the main thrust of the bill. Unfortunately, the majority of senators and congressman
republicans or democrats are clueless when it comes to understanding domestic violence or the Department of
Justice Office of violence against Women's (OVW) plan to eliminate violence against women.
During the recent reauthorization of VAWA , Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to dispel the
rumors that republicans were waging a war on women, saying "We're all in favor of the Violence Against Women
Act there's nothing to fight about." No attempts by democrats or republicans were made to discuss how VAWA's
goal could be achieved, giving a "blank check" to OVW and the authority to formulate any approach without any
scrutiny. We now know how that is turning out and both republicans and democrats can only blame themselves for
failures and fiasco.
Hillary Clinton prides herself as being the savior of women’s right. Throughout the years she has supported and
campaigned for the passage and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act without reservation or
questions as to whether its approach was successful or failing to protect women.
In the year 2000 she wrote an article which was covered nationally by most newspapers. The title was:“CALL
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN WHAT IT IS…..A CRIME.” We all agree that this statement is true and accurate. Why
then is Hillary’s statement true and yet so highly hypocritical? A brief history of the evolution of the domestic
violence process by the judicial system reveals the hypocrisy of Hillary’s statement.
1) Prior to 1979, the judicial system handled all domestic violence as a crime. All cases were handled in criminal
courts where due process, evidentiary hearings and perpetrators are considered innocent until proven guilty are
all part of the litigation. The judicial criminal process was by no means infallible, some abusers slipped through the
cracks. The main goal was to strive for the truth in each and every case of domestic violence or allegations.
Treating domestic violence as a crime was the essence of the criminal judicial process as stated in Hillary’s article
“Call violence against women what it is, a crime.”
2) In the 70's, gender feminists were concerned that many women did not file criminal complaints of abuse
because of the difficulty and horror of going through the criminal process. Many states adopted civil protective or
restraining orders in response to feminist complaints. Eventually all states resorted to civil complaints of abuse.
The justice system established special courts to handle civil restraining orders and setup their own policies and
procedures for adjudication. The standards were so low that restraining orders were routinely awarded in 99% of
the cases. Women initiated the complaints 85% of the time and were granted the restraining order 100% of the time
by judges without due process or evidentiary hearings. Most often retraining orders were granted based on a "better
safe than sorry" approach when the truth could not be determined. Those hurt the most by this one-size fits-all
approach are the women that are truly abused and disparately need protection.
Again, why is Hillary’s statement true and yet so highly hypocritical? As a lawyer and an activist in domestic
violence, she was well aware of the judicial process. She once handled the defense of an alleged pedophile
who raped a 12year old girl. Hillary knew and played the system well, showing a thorough knowledge of the judicial
system . What she fails to tell the public is that the introduction of civil restraining orders opened the floodgates for
false allegations and allegations based on perception. Hillary's political hypocrisy was in the exclusion of these two
relevant factors that revealed the flaws in the judicial system and that were totally ignored in any VAWA solution to
end the violence against women. I support VAWA's goal to end violence against women; however, I am baffled as
to why VAWA activists completely disregard studies that indicate women can also exhibit violent behavior and why
they also fail to integrate these conditions into solutions to end the violence.
WHY VAWA AND THE JUDICIAL PROCESS NEED DRASTIC REFORM
Hillary is promoting the VAWA ideology that domestic violence is at an epidemic level and that it is inevitably a
crime. It is very disingenuous of her and she is adamant that domestic violence is a crime and yet really
does not want it handled in criminal courts where due process and evidentiary hearings are required. The public is
rarely made aware of this fact. Hillary and VAWA can’t have it both ways: either it is a crime and falls under the
criminal process or an allegation that falls under the restraining order process presently administered under the
judiciary system as a civil protection process that bypasses criminal laws. Unless all factors (including
those totally ignored by OVW) are addressed and reconciled in the civil process, VAWA's goal and approach is
destined to fail!
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Domestic violence is not just violence against women; it is violence against men and children regardless of the
women to men ratio of violence. False accusations, accusations based on perception or when blame cannot
be determined the solutions to eradicate domestic violence should include all relevant factors. Because VAWA was
(consciously or unconsciously) misnomered as violence against women only, OVW can legally exclude any relevant factors
that does pertain to women.
Even Australia (Queensland) is experiencing the same dilemma as the U.S; to criminalize or decriminalize protective
Ask yourself the following questions...Why is it that VAWA and advocates, Hillary Clinton and most politicians
democrats as well as republicans do not want to revert to Criminal Protective Orders when filing domestic violence
Why is it that many lawyers tell their female clients that if they want leverage in divorce courts a civil restraining
order would be of great help?
Do you really believe that the federal agencies that have spent billions of tax dollars trying to end the violence against
women are capable of solving the domestic violence crisis.
All written material, graphic images and Original art work copyrighted 2021 by Robert g. Leclair