WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FEDERAL AGENCY IS NOT TRANSPARENT AND PLAYS
POLITICAL GAMES? THAT AGENCY'S MISSION LOSES PUBLIC TRUST, RESPECT AND
By Robert G. Leclair
The Office of Violence Against Women is one of the federal agencies that has compromised its mission and lost
its credibility, resulting in a failure to protect women from violence and abuse. The many reasons for OVW's
mission failure are addressed in my book “Restraining Orders a Flawed Process”.
This article addresses one of the reasons for the agency’s failure. My arguments are not intended to be political
nor are they intended to be a rally for or against the three laws recently enacted by our Supreme Court.
1) Same-sex marriage
2) Affordable Care Act
3) Upholding housing discrimination law.
Not only did the laws sharply divide the Supreme Court, the issues sharply divided the country. Despite the
divisiveness, the country must accept the fact that these laws are now the law of the land.
So why then do I say that these three laws politically motivated directly or indirectly OVW and some of its affiliated
nonprofit organizations? One in particular is called Futures without Violence, a driving force behind passage of
the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This non profit is heavily supported by federal grants and subsidies and
totally espouses OVW's approach and ideology to end violence against women.
Take a look at the 2018 financial for Futures without Violence (here). Hundreds of other similar non profits affiliated with
OVW that promote the VAWA concept and approach are also blessed with similar or greater financial support.
The most powerful and financially stable nonprofit supporting the VAWA/OVW mission and goals is New York's
Safe Horizons organization. A peek at its 2018 financial (here) reveals just how much money is spent on trying
to eradicate violence against women. Between the billions of tax dollars spent by OVW and the millions of dollars
spent by hundreds of associated organizations for the past 20 years, the war on violence against women should
have ended several years ago!
According to experts and statements in the press, domestic violence is still an epidemic; however, OVW contrary
to public opinion, tells congress (Report to Congress) that they had success in reducing violence against women
by 68% but there is still more to do. Ironically, in turn, that tells congress we are winning but don't stop or reduce the
Enough with the background information let me address the reason for this article. When the divided Supreme
Court proclaimed that the three laws stated above were now the law of the land, Esta Soler president of Futures
Without Violence and a strong voice for the Violence Against Women ACT made a politically motivated statement
to her staff and volunteers in a widely distributed email.
Esta stated that the laws enacted are a “win- win- win” for survivors of domestic violence. She links these 3 laws
as so important to survivors of domestic violence that voting for them in the affirmative was a must in order to help
achieve the main mission of VAWA and Futures Without Violence. Why is this statement politicizing the mission of
protecting women against violence?
Those who agree with Esta on passage of the laws see no conflict or evidence that her statement is a self-serving
and political ploy to influence the public. Basically what she is saying is that all three laws affect the war on
domestic violence. And, t he beneficiaries of these laws are the women who are victims of domestic violence.
Let me put it in a more concrete way when applied to the same-sex marriage law. Esta's article politicizes and
dupes congress by saying the law on gay marriage is helping domestic violence victims. Of greater serious
political significance is the fact that her statement implies that the millions of citizens who opposed
the gay marriage law, including the dissenting Supreme Court Justices are guilty of not caring for the
survivors of domestic violence!
Also, Esta's statement “Now that LGBT couples everywhere can get married, the door is open to fortify
existing laws that support and protect all abused spouses” bears scrutiny and clarification as to how OVW
and Partners Without Violence “intend to fortify existing law”… whatever that means.
Same-sex couples have lived together or have been married in many states long before the Supreme Court
enacted the law. Many of these couples have experienced domestic violence and abuse and were granted
restraining order by state courts. The judiciary processed these cases in the same manner as all other restraining
orders. The only difference now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land will be in a possible and significant
increase in the number of restraining orders filed and granted without evidence or due process.
When political games are played, funding is often provided for new policies and procedures to stem perceived
problems that are not normally based on facts. Basically these political games become a self-serving money grab
of no value to humanitarian needs! The win-win-win political statement of these three laws will definitely be
conveyed to Congress by OVW with a request for additional funds to fortify existing laws that support and
protect all abused spouses” while silently ignoring the fact that OVW’s approach is failing and is not protecting
In addition to the same-sex law falsely proclaiming that it is linked with domestic violence, the Affordable Care Act
is also falsely linked to the same domestic violence cause. The only difference is that this Act actually provides
special insurance to help support victims of domestic violence. This proviso could also be included in insurance
proposals other than Obamacare as some law makers have indicated. So whether or not you believe in the
Affordable Care Act, the insurance help proviso for victims of domestic violence is not necessarily an intrinsic part
of the law.
Like the dissenting Supreme Court Justices, millions of American citizens opposed these laws for various reasons.
Esta’s implied rationale that anyone opposing the law is against supporting survivors of domestic violence is a
politically motivated and self-serving approach. I am sure that the dissenting Justices and the millions of citizens
that opposed the law would not appreciate being labeled as not caring for victims of domestic violence!
To the contrary, most citizens are totally against domestic violence and are ready to fight to protect all true victims
of abuse...women, men or children.
All written material, graphic images and Original art work copyrighted 2020 by Robert G. Leclair