|Legal Services Corporation turns its back on men
By Carey Roberts
Chances are you don't pay much attention to the Legal Services Corporation, a hold-over from the glory days of the Great Society. This bureaucracy ekes by on $335 million in federal money – chump change by Washington standards.
The LSC was created for a good purpose: to provide legal services so poor Americans could have their day in court. But while taxpayers and lawmakers looked the other way, the Legal Services Corporation has fallen under the sway of a radical gender ideology.
The Journal of Family Psychology recently published a study that revealed wives and girlfriends are more likely to engage in domestic violence than their male partners. According to researcher Renee McDonald, 18.2% of the couples had experienced female-on-male violence, while male-on-female aggression was found in only 13.7% of partners.
This is not news. For the last 30 years, researchers have proven time and time again that women were at least as likely as men to commit acts of family violence.
But to radical feminists, ideology always trumps the facts. This has real-world consequences.
When the Legal Services Corporation was created in 1974, the idea was to help poor people deal with absentee landlords and faceless welfare bureaucracies. But along came welfare reform in 1996, and the LSC suddenly found many of its clients were no longer in need of its services. Time for Plan B.
So at the LSC, the most common type of cases became family issues, "many of which involve securing protective order to keep spouses and children safe from domestic violence," according to the LSC's latest Annual Report.
Drill down and the full truth emerges. Legal Service attorneys have "Represented battered women seeking orders of protection, child support enforcement, and divorces from abusive spouses," according to the LSC's Press Kit.
What about battered men seeking orders of protection?
The LSC website reveals many examples of taxpayer money being used to represent women claiming to be victims of abuse – but not a single example of its funds going to help abused men.
For example, Legal Services funds were used to establish a policy with the Texas Public Utility Commission so "when women meet with legal aid attorneys for protective orders, those same attorneys can also provide practical help in securing affordable shelter."
That news appeared in the Winter 2005 issue of Equal Justice Magazine. Apparently its editors were oblivious to the irony of male victims of domestic violence being denied equal justice.
Apparently poor men are never subjected to false allegations of abuse, or at least are unworthy of receiving free legal services.
One of the LSC's grant recipients is MidPenn Legal Services in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The firm's latest annual report tells of Deborah Lucas who secured a protective order and won custody of her child. The report makes no mention of abused men being helped by MidPenn.
Earlier this month, several Pennsylvania judges revealed that MidPenn and other local law firms are scripting the statements that women make to the courts to request restraining orders. This revelation was made to associates of the North Carolina-based True Equality Network. The judges expressed concern over the reluctance of local D.A.s to prosecute false claims of abuse, according to True Equality president Terri Lynn Tersak.
Back in Washington DC, the future of the Legal Services Corporation looks bright, its financial health now secure.
Because the Violence Against Women Act, recently re-enacted by president Bush, now allows the LSC to provide services to all women who claim to be domestic violence victims, regardless of their immigration status. [www.lsc.gov/pdfs/progltr06-2.pdf
All aboard the domestic violence gravy train.
Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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