The federal Violence Against Women Act is up for renewal. This law, originally passed in 1994, provides the following programs and services:
- Community violence prevention programs
- Protections for victims who are evicted from their homes because of events related to domestic violence or stalking
- Funding for victim assistance services, like rape crisis centers and hotlines
- Programs to meet the needs of immigrant women and women of different races or ethnicities
- Programs and services for victims with disabilities
- Legal aid for survivors of violence
The law has already been renewed twice, in 2000 and 2005, always without fanfare. This year, however, opponents object to expanding the coverage to gays and lesbians, and want to limit protection for domestic violence victims who are illegal immigrants.
Please pause and read the following article:
GOP’s Violence Against Women Act would open up undocumented victims to more abuse, on HuffingtonPost.com.
Two sides of the debate
So here, according to the article, are the two sides of the debate regarding immigrant women:
In some cases, husbands would use their control over their victims’ immigration status as a tool of abuse, refusing to sign the proper paperwork or threatening to revoke it.
House Republicans say that some women have taken advantage of the confidentiality by fraudulently claiming abuse to acquire residency status.
Which side is correct? Both of them.
Lovefraud has cases that illustrate both sides of the argument. I’ve heard from women from other countries whose abusive partners threatened to get them thrown out of the United States if they tried to leave the relationship. And I’ve heard from men who married foreign women, and as soon as the women obtained their green cards, turned around and accused them of domestic violence.
In both cases, we’re dealing with sociopaths. Dr. Liane Leedom says that half of the people who commit domestic violence are sociopaths, and the other half have sociopathic traits. And, as far as I’m concerned, everyone who commits love fraud is a sociopath. Who else could seduce an unsuspecting partner into marriage and then dump him or her with fake domestic violence charges?
Impotent legal system
The problem comes down to this: Rules are made for people who follow the rules. Sociopaths believe the rules do not apply to them. Therefore, when it comes to dealing with sociopaths, the rules are virtually useless.
Laws do not prevent sociopaths from doing what they want to do. The only usefulness of a law is being able to punish a sociopath afterwards, if the person actually gets caught and prosecuted. And this only works when there is enough evidence, and a savvy enough prosecutor, to keep the sociopaths from talking themselves out of trouble.
Here’s what we all need to understand: When it comes to dealing with sociopaths, everything is different. Whenever the structures of civil society impede their agendas, this subset of humans simply ignores them. They don’t want to be inconvenienced by laws, rules, ethical guidelines, social conventions, customs, manners or interpersonal consideration. They have no moral compass.
Renewing the VAWA
So, when it comes to renewing the law, what’s the answer? I’d vote for keeping the protections strong for victims. But perhaps some of the money should fund training for law enforcement, courts and domestic violence counselors about sociopaths, and how good they are at pretending to be victims when they aren’t.
If an immigrant woman can confidentially apply for a visa to escape true domestic violence, that’s good. But if a woman (or man) falsely claims domestic violence in order to stay in the country, I’m all for throwing her out.