Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funds are NOT supposed to be used by State domestic violence coalitions to influence public policy unless those issues ‘directly affect the activities of the entity’. That hasn’t stopped State domestic violence coalitions around the country from exerting their tremendous influence on family law issues from coast to coast, however, at virtually every state legislature. And they are using VAWA funds to do it!
Now, the question is whether the U.S. Congress actually cares about these violations and how the massive taxpayer funded VAWA is being used to undermine fatherhood, the goal of shared parenting, and the children of divorce across the country.
There needs to be a lobbying prohibition with teeth in the VAWA, if it is renewed. And this prohibition needs to state unequivocally that these State domestic violence coalitions (or other entities receiving VAWA funds) may not communicate about or lobby on public policy issues, period.
Better yet, the VAWA should be left to sunset. Its renewal will only continue the incremental demise of the American family as the VAWA has both facilitated and encouraged since the time it was originally passed a decade ago.
Below is existing federal law as it relates to the prohibition of lobbying by State domestic violence coalitions.
The New Hampshire Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) has been violating this provision for years and continues to lobby the NH Legislature, unsolicited, in violation of the statute. Additional information is provided and specific violations are enumerated after the statutory language of 42 USC, Sec. 10410, Chapter 110, Paragraph D below.
New Hampshire’s elected officials continue to receive frequent contact from NHCADSV members, without solicitation, on a variety of family law related issues that have nothing to do with legislation or appropriations directly affecting the activities of their entity.
42 USC Sec. 10410
TITLE 42 – THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 110 – FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES
Sec. 10410. Grants for State domestic violence coalitions
(d) Prohibition on lobbying
No funds made available to entities under this section shall be used, directly or indirectly, to influence the issuance, amendment, or revocation of any executive order or similar promulgation by any Federal, State or local agency, or to undertake to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by Congress, or by any State or local legislative body, or State proposals by initiative petition, except that the representatives of the entity may testify or make other appropriate communication –
(1) when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof; or
(2) in connection with legislation or appropriations directly affecting the activities of the entity.
Reform minded legislators and grassroots activists around the country will tell you that the State Domestic Violence Coalitions are the primary opposition and obstacle to the enactment of presumption of equal parenting law in every state. And a formidable obstacle they are, indeed, thanks to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Karen McCall of the NHCADSV testified orally in Representative’s Hall on March 22nd that “80% of fathers who want custody of their children fit the profile of a batterer”. And people have to wonder why America’s children are facing a fatherhood crisis?