Our friend Wendy McElroy writes on Fox News (and also on her own website, iFeminists) that Congress should not reauthorize the federal Violence Against Women Act, which is set to expire on its own in September unless the lawmakers act affirmative.

Wendy is not in favor of violence against women–and neither are any of us at the IWF. Rape and domestic violence are intolerable, and they should always remain crimes, as they are under the laws of every single state. What we oppose is the creation of a special class of victims–women–who receive special benefits (in the form of tax-funded services) from the Justice Department’s Violence Against Women Office that are not available to men. This is in turn based on the assumption that women are the only victims of domestic violence (and, indeed, rape), a situation that is not only manifestly untrue but demonizes men.

Indeed the Justice Department just this month released a study on family violence indicating that 27 percent of the victims were male and 25 percent of the perpetrators female. That’s a big number of victims and perpetrators whom the Violence Against Women Act doesn’t touch.

Wendy writes:

“VAWA arose largely from the concern stirred by feminists in the ’80s. They quite properly focused on domestic violence as a neglected and misunderstood social problem. But their analysis went to extremes and seemed tailor-made to create public furor….

“In response to public outcry, Congress was pressured to ‘do something.’ It passed VAWA 1994, granting $1.6 billion to create a bureaucracy of researchers, advocates, experts, and victim assistants, which some collectively call ‘the domestic violence industry.’

“Reauthorized in 2000, VAWA’s funding rose to $3.33 billion to be expended over five years. Now, VAWA 2005 seeks more money.”

All this is despite the fact that the just-released Justice Department report indicates that family violence actually “fell by more than half between 1993 and 2002, in line with the decline in crime overall,” according to the Associated Press, which reported:

“The rate of family violence fell from about 5.4 victims per 1,000 to 2.1 victims per 1,000 people 12 and older.”

Nonetheless, feminist orgainizations continue to act as though domestic violence were on the increase–and as though a woman’s most dangerous enemy were her own husband. Here is some hysterical advice that one of those groups, Sunshine for Women, hands out to every wife:

“Establish a secret hiding place (possibly at a friend’s house) which is easily accessible in an emergency for an extra set of keys, some money, a list of important phone numbers, bank
books, check books, other important documents, and extra set of clothes for you and the children.”

And, even more weirdly, this:

“Do not get pregnant. Take responsibility for your birth control method and make sure that your birth control method works. Your partner may be even more abusive when you get pregnant or after you give birth.”

Yes, just stop the human race.

Instead, how about stopping the Violence Against Women Act? It essentially benefits two groups: the local governments that receive millions of dollars in slush funds for supposed anti-violence projects, and radical feminist organizations that can continue to promote their anti-male propaganda. Yes, violence against women–and men–is a dreadful thing. But we have plenty of state laws on the books to take care of it.