Biden Marks October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
BIDEN: "Even though we've made great strides in the battle against domestic violence, we still have a ways to go. 1 in 4 women still experience some sort of abuse during their lifetime."
Author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), commemorated Domestic Violence Awareness Month by joining the national call to stop violence against women.
"We've moved mountains in the battle against domestic violence in the years since we passed the original Violence Against Women Act," said Senator Biden. "We've built an army of resources nationwide and each year we are reaching more women and more families in Delaware and across the nation than ever before."
Domestic violence affects all communities, and has a devastating impact on children who witness the abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 27 % of all women will experience some form of abuse in their lifetime.
"Even though we've made great strides in the battle against domestic violence, we still have a ways to go. 1 in 4 women still experience some sort of abuse during their lifetime," said Sen. Biden. "Domestic violence takes on many forms - including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. It takes courage for someone in an abusive relationship to ask for help or walk away. We need to make certain that all victims know that help is available."
"We need to ensure that community resources are close at hand for a battered woman to protect and empower her with safe, emergency shelter, an attorney to represent her, treatment for her kids, well-trained police and prosecutors taking on her case and more," said Sen. Biden.
To put this agenda into action, Sens. Biden and Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act, which creates a streamlined national system to recruit and train volunteer attorneys and connect them with domestic violence survivors. Under the bill, the American Bar Association would manage an Internet-based National Domestic Violence Attorney Network to help recruit and train volunteer attorneys; statewide legal coordinators would facilitate legal services in their individual states; and the National Domestic Violence Hotline would provide legal referrals to victims.
"I believe that this legislation builds on the best of American ideals - volunteerism, technology know-how, collaboration and our unwavering commitment to justice and service - and will help build an army of 100,000 volunteer lawyers to help domestic violence victims," added Sen. Biden.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline, established under the original Violence Against Women Act, has answered over 1 million calls for help since its inception. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-799-SAFE. The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline, operated by the National Hotline, can be reached at 1-866-331-9474.