Senator Biden Issues Statement in Observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By:  Joe Biden, Jr.
Date: Oct. 26, 2006
Location: Washington, DC

Senator Biden Issues Statement in Observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement today in observance of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

"More than ten years after passage of the landmark federal law, the Violence Against Women Act, and hundreds of state and local laws, many American women and their families still suffer from the devastating consequences of domestic violence. One in four women will fall victim to a boyfriend's or husband's fists during her lifetime, with the greatest incidences of domestic violence occurring for young women between the ages of 16 and 24. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the cost of domestic violence annually exceeds $5.8 billion, including $4.1 billion in direct medical and mental health services for victims. Over 92% of the homeless women on our city streets have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse in their lives. Perhaps the most tragic consequence of domestic violence is its impact on our nation's youth: Studies show that children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to become perpetrators or victims of domestic violence, attempt suicide, and abuse drugs and alcohol themselves.

"Because of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), cities and towns from Dover, Delaware to Glendale, California, receive desperately needed funding to fight family violence with dedicated domestic violence police units, intensive domestic violence training for judges, and full-service emergency shelters for women and children. These programs provide essential resources for victims, which is why it is imperative that Congress and the Administration fully fund VAWA each and every year. Protecting American families from violent crime—whether the perpetrators hail from abroad or live in their homes—must remain a top domestic priority. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I urge Americans to look around their own communities and see how they can get involved in the effort to end domestic violence. This month also gives us all an opportunity to thank the many victim advocates, judges, court clerks, police officers and local lawmakers who work tirelessly to prosecute abusers, treat victims and prevent domestic violence. They are doing God's work."

"And remember, if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, reach out and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)."

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