Stopping Violence Against Women-Hon. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (Extensions of Remarks - March 11, 2004)
HON. BILL PASCRELL, JR.
OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2004
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to an epidemic plaguing our Nation-violence against women. Too often we hear appalling statistics highlighting this fact; particularly regarding cases of domestic violence.
Nearly one-third of American women report being physically or sexually assaulted by a husband or boyfriend during their lifetime. The violence is not limited to adult women: One in five high school girls reports being abused by a dating partner.
In 2002 in my home State of New Jersey there were 79,844 domestic violence offenses reported by the police. Women were the victims in over 77 percent, or 61,715, of all these domestic violence offenses. In New Jersey, one act of domestic violence occurs every 6 minutes and 35 seconds.
In Passaic County, New Jersey there were 4,892 reported cases of domestic violence. The numbers are shocking. The crimes: heinous--3 Homicides, 6 Criminal Sexual Contacts, 2,825 Assaults, 280 Criminal Mischief cases, 469 Terroristic Threats, 48 Burglaries, 8 Kidnappings, 23 Criminal Trespass cases, 6 Criminal Restraint cases, 1,183 Harassment cases, 3 False Imprisonments, 20 Stalking cases, and 18 Sexual Assaults. Women were the victims in at least 3,767 of these cases.
We have a responsibility to reverse these unacceptable statistics. The women of Passaic County, of New Jersey and the entire Nation, deserve better. No woman should live in fear of domestic violence.
In addition to the terror, domestic violence is a serious health care issue that affects thousands of women and their children. The health-related cost of domestic violence against women exceeds $5.8 billion each year.
Health care providers are on the front lines of the battle as they often identify domestic violence and provide victims with care and support. That is why I support the Domestic Violence Screening, Treatment and Prevention Act, which would provide research on the health impact and prevention of family violence; training for health care professionals regarding identification and treatment for families experiencing family violence; and health care coverage for domestic violence identification and treatment.
There is great need for both women and men to join together to speak out and stop the violence. Stop the violence against women. As a Congress, as a Nation, we must work to protect the rights of women and ensure that they have the support and services necessary.