Wednesday, October 27, 2010

White House Remarks for DVAM

President Obama made remarks today as part of a Domestic Violence Awareness Month event. Here is an excerpt:

Those stories remind us of how cruel, how menacing domestic violence can be -- because it happens at home, the place where you should feel safe. Because the abuse comes at the hands of the people who are supposed to love you and trust you. Because escaping domestic violence is not only associated with a great deal of fear but also incredible financial and legal challenges that often leave victims of abuse feeling trapped.

That’s what we have to change. 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.

The full remarks are available here.

At the event, the President also announced plans for a series of federal domestic violence initiatives. From Politico:

There are programs targeted at children, including a fund to assist pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence in five states — North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia and Washington — and Head Start centers in six states – Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico and South Carolina – will launch a program to help staff members identify signs of domestic violence in children and respond appropriately.

HUD will release guidelines for housing authorities and landlords who have tenants who may be victims of domestic violence, a move that codifies protections outlined in the Violence Against Women Act. The FDIC will expand its Money Smart financial literacy curriculum on Friday to include information for victims of domestic violence.

The Justice Department will announce the start of a pilot program intended to get more private lawyers to offer services to domestic violence victims pro bono. “Beginning in New Orleans and Baltimore, private law firms will hire law students who have participated in law school clinics and defer their start dates while they work at domestic violence service providers,” the White House fact sheet states.

The initiatives also include a new website,, which will be up and running this week to help employers address the impacts of domestic violence in the workplace.
It is amazing what can be accomplished by a government that takes domestic violence seriously, and we applaud the Obama administration for these efforts.

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