Janice Shaw Crouse writes volumes of wisdom in her opinion column “Violence Against Women Act needs reform” (Commentary, Wednesday). VAWA was enacted back in the days of what I call “the great O.J. scare.” In 1994, the nation became fixated on the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Politicians, powerless to protect victims, enacted a very bad piece of legislation.
This law has proved to be ineffectual at stopping more violence. If it worked, crime rates would go down, victims would be helped and perpetrators would be punished. Instead, laws have increased, but not justice. The budgets of domestic-violence centers have received millions of dollars, but victims have not. And although some perpetrators walk free, VAWA has criminalized all men by essentially doing away with the axiom “innocent until proven guilty.”
Now some advocates of VAWA want to increase the law to protect homosexual and transgender persons but still exclude most men. There are many reasons to eliminate VAWA. At the very least, the legislation needs major reform.