Domestic Violence Awareness
By Martha J. Gallagher
October 15, 2005
October is Domestic Violence
awareness month and I urge all citizens to call and/or write
their congressman to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
and invest more resources into building healthy communities.
Because violence against women and children affects our community
in so many ways, I am writing to urge our lawmakers to reauthorize
the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) this year.
First passed in 1994, VAWA was a giant step forward for our nation.
Its passage meant that our federal government finally acknowledged
that domestic and sexual violence cause tremendous harm to our
society, and put real resources into helping victims. Millions
of women, children and families are better off as a result. In
2000, Congress reauthorized VAWA, continuing this essential work
and adding important services for immigrant, rural, disabled
and older women. Evidence shows that VAWA is working; over the
last decade, domestic and sexual violence have begun to decline,
but there is so much work still to do. Each day in America, husbands
or boyfriends murder an average of three women and more than
700 women are raped or sexually assaulted. Countless children
witness this violence.
The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 must build on past efforts
and help prevent violence before it begins by targeting resources
to children and youth who have been exposed to violence, and
engaging men as allies in this work. And we must target many
more resources to help some of our marginalized citizens. We
all pay for the violence that pervades our society - but there
is hope that we can stop it, if Congress reauthorizes the Violence
Against Women Act and invests more resources into building healthy
communities. Please support reauthorization of the Violence Against
Women Act.... it could happen to you, your mother, sister, niece,
daughter or other loved one.
Thank you for your time.
Martha J. Gallagher
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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