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March 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Senate Democrats propose violence against women act

Everyone should be protected from domestic violence

The Violence Against Women Act ignores the reality, which as a former family law attorney I am very familiar with, that violence against men also exists and is seriously underrecognized by the legal authorities. [“Democrats raise violence against women act,”, March 15.]

Rather than this sexist bill being passed, it should be rewritten as the Violence against Persons Act, and every reference within it should be gender neutral, referring either simply to “person” or to “man or woman.”

Only in this way can the true scope of domestic violence be recognized and addressed.

It is no longer acceptable to pretend that violence against men doesn’t exist, or that it shouldn’t be taken as seriously as violence against women. I am greatly disappointed that Sen. Maria Cantwell seems implicitly to feel that only women, and not men, should receive special protection. I urge her to reject the implicit sexism in the bill and work to produce a gender-inclusive bill that protects all of her constituents, whether male or female, from the evil of domestic violence.

— Christopher Hodgkin, Friday Harbor

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