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Public Statements

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mrs. EMERSON. Madam Speaker, in every State and every congressional district--I dare say in every community in our Nation--there is domestic violence. It's a tragedy, and it's often a silent tragedy in a home or in a situation where victims feel trapped. They need to know that the resources to help them are there, and the people who commit these crimes need to understand that the penalties for their abuses are severe. We all need to send the message that this law is important and that this Congress has zero tolerance for violence against women.

I've been to many shelters for victims of domestic violence in Missouri. They can't publish their addresses publicly. Still today, there is a network of women who can get you to a safe place, but you might not know who they are in your community until they save your life.

Domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, and sexual assault are rarely discussed because they are such painful and shameful subjects, but they afflict women of all ages and from all walks of life. We can bring some small relief to all of the victims of these atrocities by speaking with one voice today and not trying to make this a political issue.

These crimes are not acceptable--ever. The criminals who commit them deserve every bit of the stringent punishments contained in this legislation, making any one of them think twice before raising a hand in anger. Giving one woman the courage to escape grave danger in her own home or sending one young person out into the world with an understanding of the seriousness of these crimes all make today in the House and this bill worthwhile. I urge the bipartisan passage of this bill.

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