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There is a Trojan Horse bill before the Senate right now, that looks very good from the outside. Inside, however, are provisions, that, if passed, will prove as treacherous to victims of family violence as the warriors who hid inside the Trojan Horse.

The Child Support Distribution Act, (S. 3189), is a very good bill in many respects. Through a variety of measures, it helps increase the child support dollars actually received by needy children and their families.

However, one segment within CSDA, termed Title V Fatherhood provisions, will have serious, life-threatening consequences for survivors of family violence. These must be amended. Title V provides $150 million to programs that promote marriage, family re-unification, and father's visitation with their children.

Violence against women is one of the main causes of women's poverty. Studies show that 25% of welfare recipients are currently victims of family violence, and over 60% have experienced abuse at some point in their life. Further, 50% of men who abuse women, also seriously abuse their children, and abusers are twice as likely to fight for custody as non-abusers, as a way to continue to exert control over their victims. To promote visitation, marriage and family re-unification where family violence is a factor is seriously misguided, and the results will be tragic.

The Child Support Distribution Act, including Title V, has already been overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives. We must urge our Senators not to allow passage of Title V without revision, lest we release the Trojan Horse on our nation's most vulnerable families.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence  National Network to END Domestic Violence  The Family Violence Prevention Fund
NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund  Be Fearless
National Council for Jewish Women  Moms Online