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Kellylark

Kellylark
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Salon.com
OCTOBER 2, 2008 2:18AM

Obama on Domestic Violence

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

The one time when all people are supposed to remember this problem, and perhaps think about it.  In my group, it is the month to get preachers to preach about the unacceptability of domestic violence.  A lot won't though, because it "encourages" divorce.

I know it is a difficult topic. It is a difficult thing to live through and then admit that you lived through it.  It is extremely difficult to deal with on a regular basis in trying to help.  It's a soul-sucking, terrible, situation to deal with these  women and their children trying to escape this violence.  But it is so much worse to BE  them, of course.

 But it is always, always, a lesson in the great courage of women.  The women who escape these situations with nothing but the clothes on their back are awe-inspiring - but they don't know that.  They are simply terrified women  doing whatever they need to do to protect themselves, and more often, their children. They are everyday heroes and survivors, and they never know that until the real world reaches them, and they come to understand, sometimes, just how brave they are.

 Even then, the destroyed esteem and ego can be insurmountable.  The need for long-term care is immense.  Any attention to this blight on US Humanity is welcome. 

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so, I  give you  Obama's statement today, so we all know he has not forgotten us, and to hail Joe Biden for the VAWA act once more.

"Today, I join all Americans in observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  At a time when one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, it's more important than ever that we dedicate ourselves to working on behalf of the thousands of women who suffer in silence.

Too often, victims of domestic violence don't know where to turn, or have no one to turn to.  And too often, a victim could be someone you love.  That's why, as a State Senator, I led the fight in Illinois to pass one of the strongest employment protection laws in the nation, ensuring that victims of domestic violence could seek shelter or treatment without losing their jobs.That's why I introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to provide $25 million a year to domestic violence prevention and victim support efforts.  That's why I co-sponsored and helped reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. And today, I am so proud to have Senator Joe Biden, the man who wrote that groundbreaking legislation that gave so many women a second chance at life, as my running mate in this campaign.

As President, I'll make these efforts a national priority.  This month, and every month, we must fight to bring domestic violence out of the darkness of isolation and into the light of justice, especially for minority and immigrant women, and women in every community where it goes unreported far too often.  We'll stop treating this as just a woman's issue, and start recognizing that when a woman is attacked, that abuse scars not only the victim, but her loved ones, sending currents of violence that ripple across our society.  We need all hands on deck to address this – neighbors willing to report suspected crimes, families willing to help loved ones seek treatment, and community leaders willing to candidly discuss this issue in public and break the stigma that stops so many women from coming forward. Together, we'll make it clear that no woman ever struggles alone."

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Comments

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'every little thing he does is magic / everything he do just turn me on '

sorry, i got lost in Obamaland. i'm a little blissed out by him right now.
LOL thanks magpie may. I have to admit I was extremely impressed with this bit myself.
Domestic violence is insipid for everyone involved. It's also extremely complicated...I read a study awhile ago that says it takes a woman who is being abused an average of 7 times of attempted leaving before she finally leaves.

Thanks for writing this important post.
Mary, that statistic rings true. The complicated myriad of factors that are involved sometimes lead people to give up on their loved ones in terrible situations. It is all so complicated and one must just never, ever judge the women that doesn't flee when we all know she should. Thank you for listening.
I've done some volunteer work as a domestic violence/rape crisis advocate and used to be a certified Sexual Assuault Response Team member. There is an undercurrent of violence in our culture that goes largely unaddressed. Having a President & Vice-President who care about these issues will make an enormous difference in the publication of information, getting it into the right hands.

I sure hope tomorrow that Biden asks Palin about billing rape victims for rape kits. What a senseless and heartless public decision.
Susanne - I have called upon my group leader for some input into a lengthier post about the topic, and I hope I can pass it by you for additions. Something like the Top 20 things we can all do to address the scourge of domestic violence.

The rape victim's charge may be incorrect - from what I have read, they were trying to bill the victim's insurance company. Not that it matters - making a woman worry about those things is heinous. And the incidence of rape in Alaska is far above the "lower 48" rate by any measure and as a woman, one would think SP might have tried to address it. Instead she fired the Chief Law Enforcement officer, that by ALL accounts, was working on it, to get revenge for her own family.
No woman should ever have it asked of her how she would pay for a rape kit, and no hospital should bill a woman for such services. Those services, and the necessary indignity of those services, should be borne by everyone in a community. Rape, and any costs associated with rape, are the responsibility of a culture that tolerates rape and sexual violence against women & children. If communities actually had to budget for those costs a coming to grips with the problem would move up the agenda.

Psychologically, the effect of asking victims pay is to imply that "they asked for it" or are in some way responsible for the crimes commited against them.
Of course you're right Susanne. The idea that it could be an issue frankly never occurred to me before the Wasilla story came out.

Umbrella I have never answered to a home like that, although others in my group who are trained sometimes go with the police. It can certainly be dangerous. Police awareness and training for DV calls varies from jurisdiction to jusridiction, as I'm sure you know. I'm glad you were there for those women, and yes, the ones who make it out and well are worth the frustration of those who don't ... yet. I always believe there is a "yet" there for those who return or repeat.
yes! we need to lift this up in my congregation! It is a complicated problem. I worked at a Shelter for Abused women while in seminary.
Thanks for bringing his comments to our attention, and by bringing domestic violence to the forefront. By the way, did you hear the comparison between Biden's interview answer with Katie Couric on Supreme court rulings he disagreed with? He noted that as the author of the violence against women act, he wanted dv cases to be able to be brought in federal court, and the SC knocked that down. (on the same question, other than Roe v. Wade, Palin couldn't come up with anything). It just shows Biden's impressive record on violence against women issues.