In February and March, CNSNews.com published a trio of columns by Edward E. Bartlett with a curious theme. Bartlett's Feb. 7 column was dedicated to deflating the "hoax" that domestic violence against women increases during the Super Bowl, declaring, "So on Sunday, Feb. 13, let’s invite everyone to relax, enjoy the big game, and not be distracted by dishonest claims of a 'spike' in domestic violence or human trafficking."
In his March 8 column, Bartlett complained that the Violence Against Women Act violated the constitution and insisted that "men and women were equally likely to engage in domestic violence" and that VAWA became "a feminist crusade to stereotype men as abusers, weaken the family, and expand the power of the state."
Barrett ranted in his March 11 column:
With the federal Violence Against Women Act currently being considered in Congress, one would expect that all forms of domestic violence, including female-on-female abuse, would be the focus of vigorous debate. But it’s not. For example, during the recent Oct. 5 Senate hearing on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, not a peep was said about abuse in same-sex relationships.
So what’s going on?
The Centers for Disease Control suggests that among all partners, female-initiated physical (not sexual) violence is more widespread than the male-perpetrated variety. Each year in relationships, 4.2 million men suffer from physical violence, compared to 3.5 million women.
When you zero in on abuse rates in same-sex lesbian couples, the numbers fly off the charts.
The typical framing of partner abuse as men abusing women does an enormous disservice to persons in abusive lesbian relationships. Each year, half a billion dollars of taxpayer money goes to the Violence Against Women Act. Republican and Democratic lawmakers should join together to assure this milestone law is rooted in science and fact, not gender ideology.
Bartlett clearly wants to push the idea that women are aggressors and liars and that men are docile victims. The CNS bio of Everett describes him only as "president of the Coalition to End Domestic Violence." But there's much more going on.
As the Nation documented, Bartlett is a so-call men's rights activist who is also the head of a group called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, part of a group of right-wing organizations that claim there is a crisis of false rape allegations against male college students. (Interestingly, the Nation identifies SAVE's primary funder as Hans Bader, an attorney who is also a CNS columnist.) Bartlett also works in the Department of Health and Human Services, and he used his position as well as his presidency of SAVE to help nudge Trump Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to develop new rules for handling sexual assaults on college campuses that narrowed the scope of what colleges are allowed to investigate, increased the evidentiary bar that must be met for colleges to take action and removed some protections from victims.
Even more interestingly, SAVE has been affiliated with an organization that procures mail-order brides from Russia. A woman who worked at both SAVE and the bride service, Natasha Spivack, fought to strip protection for immigrant women under a 2012 revision of the Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that they were supposedly abusing the system by making false claims of abuse -- presumably in part because her mail-order bride company was ordered to pay $434,000 in damages to a Russian immigrant woman who was abused by the man who paid the firm to procure her.
Again: The guy who runs this organization is a person CNS has decided would make a great columnist.