RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Sattler writes: "This is the first Super Bowl Sunday since 1994 that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has not been in effect."

The Violence Against Women Act expired this month after 18 years. (photo: unknown)
The Violence Against Women Act expired this month after 18 years. (photo: unknown)

Super Bowl Sunday Is a Day of Violence Against Women

By Jason Sattler, The National Memo

03 February 13


t turns out that it's a myth that more women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. But it is true that this is the first Super Bowl Sunday since 1994 that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has not been in effect.

Last year, after a bipartisan, filibuster-proof majority approved the revised VAWA in the Senate, House Republicans refused to even vote on the bill because it protected too many women - including undocumented workers, LGBT women and Native Americans. Protections have been expanded as the bill was reauthorized in the past. Native American women, for instance, are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than any other group.

The legacy of the bill is so strong that many of its statutes - including the Rape Shield Law, which protects the identity of sexual assault victims - are still being enforced. But if Congress does not appropriate funding in the continuing resolution that needs to be passed by March 27, domestic violence shelters and the National Domestic Abuse Hotline will be shuttered.

Democrats in the Senate now have 60 votes to pass the bill again to send it to the House, where it once more faces an uncertain future. "For nearly 20 years, the programs supported by VAWA have been a lifeline to so many," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said in a statement. "They deserve swift action in Congress."

VAWA was passed with near-unanimous majorities in 2000 and 2010 because the effectiveness of the law has been astonishing. "From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States declined by 64 percent, from 9.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 3.6 per 1,000," reports Shannan M. Catalano of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Some, including anti-feminist icon Phyllis Schlafly, argue that the law should be made gender-neutral, which negates the reality that 4 out of 5 victims of intimate partner violence are women. Focusing on protecting women has helped lower the instances of partner violence for both genders by 60 percent.

The myth that Super Bowl Sunday is an extraordinarily dangerous day for women was fostered to draw attention to domestic violence. But this Sunday is just another day when more there will be 24 instances of intimate partner violence every minute and three women will die at the hands of a partner.

What makes this Sunday exceptional is that it's the first one in decades that a law that did so much to prevent this needless violence is no longer there to protect them. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+23 # kbarrand 2013-02-03 23:10
If someone came up with a cure for cancer, these loonies would oppose it.
+2 # eadg 2013-02-04 10:42
They know what causes cancer, and what cures it. Can you name any high-ups who ail or died from this manufactured cash cow?
+3 # DaveM 2013-02-03 23:26
This is not true, though it is a persistent myth. See

Domestic violence is a very real problem, no question of that. But we will accomplish nothing by circulating falsehoods.
-16 # DaveM 2013-02-03 23:38
If indeed "4 out of 5" victims of domestic violence are women, does the one man not count? If "protecting women" has brought about a decrease in domestic violence, wouldn't protecting both genders do the same?

All law should be gender-neutral, particularly any aimed at preventing violent crime.
+6 # Glen 2013-02-04 09:26
You are forgetting children, DaveM. It isn't just women. And men DO commit most of these crimes. Whenever a woman takes on a man or actually kills him, it is all over the news. No so much when it is a woman.
0 # ersn! 2013-02-05 07:06
The simple answer is that the "one man" does indeed, not count. The DV system is not changing, even as gender politics and power dynamics have changed. The system enfolds and nurtures female perpetrators and victims alike, and woe betide the man who protects his abuser. She will be empowered to act out her violent pattern on the next man, and he can go cry in the wilderness.
+3 # shraeve 2013-02-03 23:44
Is Mr. Sattler saying that the myth that Super Bowl Sunday is the most dangerous day for women was deliberately created by anti-violence activists? I thought it was just another urban legend that was started for the same reasons all urban legends start, namely: who knows?

I feel it is morally and tactically wrong to create myths (i.e. lies) to advance any political agenda. Sooner or later your dishonesty will return to bite you.
+8 # Anarchist 23 2013-02-04 00:10
'gender-nuetral '-hello where is neutrality when it comes to equal pay for equal work?Housework even? Perhaps in the interest of gender neutrality we ought to officially investigate the incitement of men to violence in our culture. Certainly men have been perpetrators of violence in greater proportion; of course they have also suffered for it: gang warfare;armies etc. Let us all address the horrific violence that remains unacknowledged within the culture. Passing VAWA would be a good start-again...
+1 # ersn! 2013-02-04 01:24
If "your" woman hits you, call the police, first! The DV system will not protect you if you are a man. How is equal protection under law "anti-feminist" ? The "4 out of 5 victims are women" statistic is no longer true. Men don't tell, and if they do they face more abuse and little support, instead they are encouraged to "take responsibility" for the violent crimes of their batterers. Go to Speak the truth.
+11 # Beth Carter 2013-02-04 01:47
The myth was just called a myth in the article--clearl y stated. Men and boys can be victimized, not just physical abuse but sexual abuse as well. I've met men who are survivors of female perpetrators. I does happen and it does matter. However, the callus disregard toward women and girls as objects of possession has been in international law for centuries. Such attitudes are found in ancient documents such as the Bible. It is Warcraft 101 to rape and pillage to overturn another country's culture. Rape of women often results in pregnancy which bends a subverted culture to the will of the aggressor.

What is NOT said in this article is that Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault by non-Natives thereby making legal action against the aggressor difficult if not impossible. VAWA was one of the few avenues a Native woman had for support and succor during a traumatic time in any human life, and it seems that covering Native women in specific is particularly distasteful for the House since Natives are sovereign nations in and of themselves, the politics of which any legislator wants to shove back into the closet post haste. It is necessary to ensure that humanity avoid going to extremes (victimizing one gender to the other), but your comments speak more of a guilty conscience than reality just as homophobia is really the fear of being treated by men as men have treated women for centuries.
+1 # ersn! 2013-02-05 07:35
Thank you for your reasoned comments. It is clear that you are thinking seriously about the moral and political dimensions of intimate partner violence. Your comment about Native American IPV is particularly apt, given the ghastly legacy of violence involved in genocide and cultural assimilation.
Suggesting that DaveM's comments imply a guilty conscience and that they don't reflect reality simply silences and marginalizes the perspective that is missing from a sane response to IPV in our time.
+18 # Citizen Mike 2013-02-04 07:14
This means the Republicans support violence against women and consider the right to beat up the ladies as one of their precious "freedoms" to be protected. I notice they also support disease and injury, since they oppose making healthcare available, and they support ignorance, since they oppose biology, geology and climate science. They are rooting for wife-beating, for cancer and heart disease, for manmade earthquakes, forest fires and floodstorms, for teenage pregnancies and all kinds of miseducation: What a bunch of dingbats! They want to be free to shoot people, too, I rather hope they will start shooting each other. Freedom, whoopee!
0 # ersn! 2013-02-05 07:23
Please imagine for one second what it is like to be prosecuted for domestic violence when your girlfriend has hit you repeatedly, threatened you with a knife, and tried to kill you with a car. Now add on the disorienting dynamic that the only political allies you can find in this situation are the very pre-fascist ideologues you have worked against your entire life. Whoopee indeed.
+7 # Susan1989 2013-02-04 07:37
Another reason why the Republican party is dying on the vine...mean stingy sexless violent old men who want to punish and oppress the world. I hate to admit the obvious truth, but most of the violence and cruelty in this world is the result of aggressive and insensitive male behavior...of which football is representative.
+9 # maverita 2013-02-04 08:00
Violence against men has been on the increase and should not be ignored, but that is no reason to un- fund women's DV shelters, which aid not just women, but their children as well. A lot of those assholes out there beating their women were beaten themselves. but, No police dept., no neighbor, no family member can be quite as effective in protecting a victim and her children as the enfolding safety of a good DV shelter. If you want to expand the program to include male partners, I would support that, as long as it does not interfere with safety of women by reducing shelter security.
-13 # MidwestTom 2013-02-04 08:20
As our Muslim population grows, this law will have to be weakened and eventually eliminated, or ti will have to exempt Muslim women.
+9 # BradFromSalem 2013-02-04 08:42
Am I the only one that thinks it is insane overkill to have a law designed to strengthen penalties for crimes against women, but then to classify women into sub groups? Women are women. The law should state that, not married women, or lesbian women, or:
"Women of color that are in an unmarried committed relationship with a person of any gender who also has a religious belief different from the person, who must be female, that is subject to violence; which can only occur in a place that no conjugal realtions betwwen the two parties occur". (I but I can actually justify the reason for each clause)

Women are women; violence is violence.

Commiting a violent act against a women may be considered by a jury under instruction from a judge to be ruled a hate crime.
+6 # Glen 2013-02-04 09:36
Far be it from me to criticize a beautiful woman, but the moment I read this article this morning the half-time show came immediately to mind. So much for the FCC and their bogus sensitivity to what is appropriate for kids to watch during the super bowl. That half time show was about as close to a strip club act as you can get without taking it all off. So - it would appear the super bowl is two sides of the same coin:

Big brutal males, scantily clad females thrusting hips toward the audience, not to mention the crotch. What else is missing in the formula for male attitude?

You'll never convince me there aren't women out there who noticed this same issue. Our culture is one of exploitation of both men and women, but exploiting women inevitably gives way to subjugation and violence, especially among men who are susceptible to anything supporting their male dominance attitude.
+2 # reiverpacific 2013-02-04 11:16
"Phyllis Schlafly????
Gawd, just to hear the name of that ol' grumbleguts fink against her own sex makes me shudder. -Is she still infesting the written word and airwaves?
But I'm not sure I go along with demonizing the Superbowl at any cost and have a hard time linking it to increased violence against women -and before I get hate mail, I have donated much work and time to the Tillamook County (Oregon) Battered Women's Resource Center and Shelter, and am trying to instigate a "Healing Clay" program there with my studio. Coastal Tillamook county has the highest incidence of battered women of any county in Oregon, so I'm very aware of this issue.
I quite enjoy the actual SB game and gathering at our local watering hole. It's all the "post-game punditry", "Half time show" and "Post game Show" as well as the obscenely expensive showcased commercials I have a big problem with, which is the ultimate in Corporate Commercial elitism. Hell some people watch the spectacle ONLY for the Half Time Show and commercials.
That to me speaks more to the corporate takeover of the US grassroots mentality, as in the imperial Roman "Panem et Circences" to keep 'em dumb and passive. But I can't get it round to a reason for increasing abuse of women and kids and I repeat, I'm involved personally and actively in combating and the recovery process from that.
Maybe I'm not cerebral enough.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.