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Author Topic: Journalists waking up to the VAWA scam  (Read 25931 times)
tristan
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« on: August 30, 2009, 01:57:06 PM »

One intrepid female journalist has revealed the tip of the iceberg that is the VAWA scam.

Regina Varolli wrote the following article in Womens enews, linked here: http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=4113

Violence Survivor Lobbies to Open VAWA's Books
Run Date: 08/20/09
By Regina Varolli
WeNews correspondent
A survivor of domestic violence is speaking out about what she calls the lack of accountability for how public anti-violence money is allocated. In her own case, she says no public funding was available to help her when she needed it.
 

(WOMENSENEWS)--Alexis A. Moore, founder of Survivors in Action in Oakland, Calif., is trying to follow the federal money for preventing domestic violence.

Moore, a 30-year-old law school student in Sacramento, Calif., began to wonder where the money was going after she found herself personally needing it, but not getting it.

Roughly four years ago, Moore had been living with an abusive man who threatened her and her relatives, saying he would come after them if she ever tried to leave.

In planning her escape, she had been counting on a local shelter to house--and hide--her. "I was turned away from the then-El Dorado County Women's Center, only to learn later they had enough funding to serve me at my most dire time of need," Moore recently told Women's eNews.

Kelly Plag, director of community affairs with the Center for Violence-Free Relationships--formerly the El Dorado County Women's Center--said the center's funding is a matter of open record.

"We have specific grant requirements and we report to our grantors," Plag said. She added that they "have all the numbers."

However, these numbers are not available on their Web site and grantees are not required by law to post their budgets or audit results publicly.

Funding for Direct Assistance
Since the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, the federal government has channeled over a billion dollars into organizations that are required to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. The VAWA Web site does post figures on grants awarded to specific organizations and the amount of each grant, but does not detail how the funds are expected to be spent.

This year's grants from the Recovery Act funds, including STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors), Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program and the Transitional Housing Awards, are listed and broken down by recipient organization. In Recovery Act funding, totaling $134 million, STOP, which funds the training of members of law enforcement, received $60 million; organizations in California and New York received $4,659,839 million for transitional housing; and funding for State Coalitions totaled $6,250,000.

Federal law requires each organization receiving government funding to complete a semi-annual progress report that includes the numbers of grant-funded staff, people trained and victims served. The numbers of those seeking services who were not served, demographic data on clients and services provided are also required.

The Muskie School of Public Service, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, receives all VAWA required reports and disseminates them in the form of data reports and narrative summaries to Congress.

However, the reports do not link individual organizations with any specific figures. Instead, they provide overall figures per grant program, such as grants for reducing violent crimes on campuses or grants for education and technical assistance.

These VAWA reports are available online at the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative, which is run by the Muskie School. However, there is no documentation on a per-organization basis.

The key difference between the reporting called for by Moore and existing VAWA reporting requirements is organization-specific information. Moore also wants more public access to this kind of information, which is not required by VAWA.

Reporting requirements are not for the Muskie School to determine. It operates under a mandate by Congress. So it would take a signal from Congress for the school to start breaking down its reports into more specific performance audits and for grantees to publicly post this information on Web sites, where donors and clients alike could easily check it.

Survivors Share Similar Stories
Other survivors of abuse--Randi Rosen and Claudia Valenciana, two of the thousands of women involved with Survivors in Action--shared similar experiences with Women's eNews.

Both women report reaching out to the Coalition to End Family Violence in Oxnard, Calif. Rosen says her calls were not returned and Valenciana says she was denied assistance.

The Oxnard group's executive director, Laura Gonzales, told Women's that she was surprised by the stories and didn't understand how they happened. Gonzales said the group undergoes regular audits and reports to the VAWA Measuring Effectiveness Initiative on all government funding.

After President Barack Obama appointed Lynn Rosenthal to the newly created post of White House Advisor on Violence Against Women in June, Moore launched a petitioning effort that begins with an open letter to Rosenthal about the need to track public anti-violence funds.

The petition, on the Survivors in Action Web site, calls for auditing government grants. It also pushes for the creation of a federal committee to oversee government-funded groups and provide victims a public clearing house to document their experiences and file complaints.

The petition has just under 4,000 signatures. Moore says that once she gathers 10,000 she plans to take the petition to Congress and begin a lobbying campaign for changes in the VAWA reporting mandate, as well as the creation of a national clearing house.

Services Denied By Some
The Survivors in Action Web site provides a list of organizations that have denied services to victims, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

At the Hotline, which receives 65 percent of its funding through federal grants, Retha Fielding, chief communications officer, said the group complies with rigorous auditing requirements.

"We just don't always have enough people to answer the phones," Fielding said, adding that the group received 255,047 calls in 2008 and was able to answer 212,216. In other words, 42,831 calls went unanswered.

Moore says her idea for a national clearing house for victims to report their experiences could help organizations, such as the national hotline, quantify the extent to which they can't keep up with service demand.

If organizations are unable to serve victims due to a lack of funding, keeping a public record of these cases could lead to more funding to meet the needs of victims, Moore says.

In cases where victims are unjustifiably denied services, the clearing house would provide donors and grant-makers--including the federal government--the ability to measure the effectiveness of service providers and base their funding decisions on actual experiences.

At a time when domestic violence funding across the board is being slashed under budget pressures, Moore admits her Web site might be consider ill-timed by service providers who are feeling hard-pressed.

"It's not easy speaking out," said Moore. "But I'm not here to make friends; I'm here to make sure no victim is ever left behind."

Regina Varolli is a freelance writer and editor based in Manhattan, and the owner of Words by Regina Varolli and Co. She blogs at Culinary Sagacity and Political Sagacity.

Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at editors@womensenews.org.

 
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Advocacy groups that get taxpayer money for "protecting" foreign women and the thoughtless media call foreign woman a "mail order bride" if she met her husband via internet.  This is American imperialism, it is denigrating, insulting and portrays the women as helpless fools.
frank johnson
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2009, 10:33:54 AM »

Meanwhile, the highly paid millionaire directors of these feminist organizations say “We don’t need no stinking audits! We just need MORE tax dollars now!”

Layli Miller-Muro screams hysterically “And for Bulaiuhlia’s sake don’t audit me either. You can trust me. I would NEVER embezzle a penny from my Tahirih Justice Center. Millions? Hell yes! But only a penny? NEVER! All of us highly paid directors of taxpayer funded feminist “women’s protection” rackets are pure as snow. We wouldn’t dream of stealing taxpayer money! You don’t need to audit us!”

And indeed, they will never be audited even as they beg and pander for yet even more tax dollars while they live in their million dollar mansions wondering how they will get the free money to upkeep them.

Great Falls! 422 more reasons to watch Layli!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 10:38:11 AM by frank johnson » Logged
bugman7
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2009, 08:40:16 PM »

One has to have a lot of respect for Alexis Moore for standing up and speaking out about the unaccountable and notoriously corrupt domestic violence industry. There is obviously little or no accountability for funds administered under the Violence Against Women's Act which is part of the US Department of Justice.

I am wondering how long it will take for the VAWA mafia to put pressure on her to stop her campaign to bring integrity and transparency to open up those OVW files. Will they pay her money... as in "Alexis you'd better shut up or else" ? Or perhaps they will threaten to sue her if she continues to reveal the fraud and corruption that permeates the OVW like a cesspool of toxic waste. Maybe they will resort to other more serious tactics.

It's a well known fact that individuals who speak up and reveal the  fraud and corruption associated with the VAWA immigration fraud business risk a lot more than getting sued. 

« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 05:21:45 AM by bugman7 » Logged
tristan
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 09:50:57 AM »

I wrote to someone at enews and just got a response: they are on top of these issues and plan to write more in the future.

Won't it be ironic if women journalists blow the whistle on corrupt womens' groups.
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Advocacy groups that get taxpayer money for "protecting" foreign women and the thoughtless media call foreign woman a "mail order bride" if she met her husband via internet.  This is American imperialism, it is denigrating, insulting and portrays the women as helpless fools.
bugman7
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 07:05:35 PM »

I think the FBI should investigate all of these immigrant Advocacy groups and fraudulent Women's shelters. They literally reek of fraud and corruption and represent the quin essential white collar criminal organization of the 21 st century.

 By now everybody knows how these taxpayer funded organizations blatantly violate IRS provisions for non profit charities by promoting legislation favorable for their corrupt industry. Then those billions of dollars of taxpayers funds are diverted into their bank accounts so their executives can can live in million dollar plus mansions. They also help facilitate immigration fraud for financial gain by helping to  expedite the immigration status of immigrant women under false pretenses.

But the most horrific part of this scandal is how this Immigration fraud being committed by VAWA funded immigration groups poses a serious threat to National Security.

http://www.newswithviews.com/Cutler/michael165.htm

« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 07:38:06 PM by bugman7, Reason: b » Logged
Delphi_Programmer
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 12:27:52 PM »

Laws like IMBRA will just have to run their course, as did authoritarian laws of our earlier history, like the unreasonable and outlandish laws of he early 20th century that gradually came undone in the 1930's under FDR, or like Prohibition came undone around the same time period.  This country grew up a lot between 1900 and 1950.  We will grow up a lot more between 2005 and 2050.  Unfortunately for many of us, we will not be around to see it.

Tyrants rise to power, they dictate for a period of time, their policies fail, and they eventually fall.
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