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Thursday, October 28, 2010

White House Brings Awareness To Domestic Violence Month

The White House is taking a stand on domestic violence.

Domestic violence facts:
14% of teens report their boyfriend or girlfriend threatened to harm them or themselves to avoid a breakup.

Among battered women living in shelters, 88% experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of domestic violence.

1/2 of the women who die from homicides are killed by their current or former husbands or partners. (Report)

...."That’s what we have to change", said President Obama during yesterday's White House event on domestic violence.

"And I say that not only as a President, but as a son, as a husband, as the father of two daughters. Now, we’ve made a great deal of progress in recent years. But everybody in this room understands that our work is not yet finished. Not when there’s more we can do to help folks looking to restart their lives and achieve financial independence. Not when there’s more to do to ensure that the victims of abuse have access to legal protection. Not when children are trapped in abusive homes -- especially when we know the lingering damage and despair that this can cause in a child’s life. Not when one in every four women experiences domestic violence -- and one in six women are sexually assaulted -- at some point in their lives. It’s not acceptable."
The Administration has released new rules to prevent the victims of domestic violence from being evicted or denied assisted housing because a crime was committed against them. Additionally, the administration plans to do more to help the victims of domestic violence access legal services and protections, as well as protect children and break the cycle of violence.
The event was attended by Founder of the Safe at Home Foundation, former Major League Baseball player and manager Joe Torre, council woman Donna Edwards, Ruth Glenn, and Becky Lee - Washington D.C. domestic violence advocate and founder of Becky's Fund.
"Due to the importance of having domestic violence recognized by our leaders of this country, I feel that more attention, funding, and resources will finally be given to this issue and help so many people who need help and support", Lee told us via email.
Lee worked as an advocate in the court system and as an attorney for domestic violence victims for more than 14 years, and continues that work today.  Her fund has several events year-round to bring awareness to the topic of domestic violence, including her increasingly popular 'Walk This Way' yearly celebrity fashion show, but she couldn't be more pleased to have both the President and Vice President make the issue a high priority.
"Having both the President and Vice President make domestic violence a priority is one of the greatest advancements for the domestic violence community and the victims we try to help."

Domestic abuse victim, and survivor, Yvette Cady.

Survivor Yvette Cady knows the hurt of domestic violence all too well.  Her ex-husband, Roger Hargrave, came to her work place and doused her with gasoline, then chased her outside where he set her on fire.

Through it all, Cady says she "had to forgive", but offers these words of advice:

*Tell someone that you trust about the abuse

* Seek help from organizations that exist to support battered women/men

* Make plans to leave your abuser

* Stop believing the apologies and the promises that "it won't happen again."

* At your first opportunity -- GET OUT, LEAVE, and promise yourself that you will NEVER GO BACK.

Also attending in event was Mariska Hargitay, Founder and President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to healing, educating and empowering victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abuse.

President Obama thanked Vice President Biden who championed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

Watch the White House video below.

Becky's Fund
Safe At Home
Yvette Cade Fund  (The story)
White House Fact Sheet On Domestic Violence
Victim Joe Torre Talks  (Describes his nightmare at home)
Women of Strength

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