At the begining of October President Obama issued a Proclaimation as it relates to this being National DomesticViolence Awareness Month. With great admiration for our President, without a strategic plan of action words in a press release do nothing to stop the slaughter of Americans' and theirchildren suffering from an epidemic where bodily harm and murder are taking the lives of innocent victims due partially to lack of funding and services for its' victims.
Perhaps the President and his administration would consider creating a campaign asking prominent sports figures (that don't have a history of violence themselves) to participate in public service announcements during televised games sending a message that violence is not acceptable behavior, it is a criminal offense and just like drunk driving you will be arrested and prosecuted.
Another suggestion is to create a brief message for school studentsdelivered by President Obama himself to classrooms benefiting those whose voices are silenced because they believe violence is a way of life in their own homes.
The current admistration has the power to change the plight forvictims of violence in our nation. It requires a heck of a lot more than issuing a proclaimation that most will never read becausethey have already lost their lives!
President Obama's proclamation:
THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate Release October 1, 2009 NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2009- - - - - - -BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAA PROCLAMATION
Domestic violence touches the lives of Americans of allages, leaving a devastating impact on women, men, and children of every background and circumstance. A family's home becomesa place of fear, hopelessness, and desperation when a woman isbattered by her partner, a child witnesses the abuse of a lovedone, or a senior is victimized by family members. Since the 1994passage of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, championed by then Senator Joe Biden, our Nation has strengthened its responseto this crime and increased services for victims. Still, far toomany women and families in this country and around the world areaffected by domestic violence. During National Domestic ViolenceAwareness Month, we recommit ourselves to ending violence withinour homes, our communities, and our country.
To effectively respond to domestic violence, we must provideassistance and support that meets the immediate needs of victims.Facing social isolation, victims can find it difficult to protectthemselves and their children. They require safe shelter andhousing, medical care, access to justice, culturally specificservices, and economic opportunity. The Family ViolencePrevention and Services Act supports emergency shelters, crisisintervention programs, and community education about domesticviolence.
In the best of economic times, victims worry about finding ajob and housing, and providing for their children; these problemsonly intensify during periods of financial stress. That is whythe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $325 millionfor the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Victims ofCrime Act (VOCA). This funding will supplement the Federal VAWAand VOCA dollars that flow to communities every year, and enableStates, local governments, tribes, and victim service providersto retain and hire personnel that can serve victims and holdoffenders accountable. These funds will also bring relief tovictims seeking a safe place to live for themselves and their children.
Victims of violence often suffer in silence, not knowingwhere to turn, with little or no guidance and support. Sadly,this tragedy does not just affect adults. Even when childrenare not directly injured by violence, exposure to violence inthe home can contribute to behavioral, social, and emotionalproblems. High school students who report having experiencedphysical violence in a dating relationship are more likely touse drugs and alcohol, are at greater risk of suicide, and maycarry patterns of abuse into future relationships. Our effortsto address domestic violence must include these young victims.
During this month, we rededicate ourselves to breaking thecycle of violence. By providing young people with educationabout healthy relationships, and by changing attitudes thatsupport violence, we recognize that domestic violence can beprevented. We must build the capacity of our Nation's victimservice providers to reach and serve those in need. We urgecommunity leaders to raise awareness and bring attention tothis quiet crisis. And across America, we encourage victims andtheir families to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at1-800-799-SAFE. Together, we must ensure that, in America, novictim of domestic violence ever struggles alone.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of theUnited States of America, by virtue of the authority vestedin me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States,do hereby proclaim October 2009, as National Domestic ViolenceAwareness Month. I ask all Americans to do their part to end domestic violence in this country by supporting their communities' efforts to assist victims in finding the helpand healing they need.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand thisfirst day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine,and of the Independence of the United States of America thetwo hundred and thirty-fourth.
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MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2009
The recent appointment of Lynn Rosenthal as the "Czar" for domestic violence is rather disturbing to me as an advocate, author, violence expert and homicide survivor. What purpose does this newly created White
House post really serve regarding the lives of battered women and their children?
So far this position appears to be nothing more than Ms. Rosenthal talking phone calls from legal advocates and survivors that have enough cell phone minutes to vent their anger and frustration in a sixty minute phone conversation only to be informed that their one-on -one discussion will be relayed to Vice-President Biden, the champion of Senate hearings and funding through the years for services and programs across the country.
Perhaps Ms. Rosenthal could use her rather large monthly expense account to fly around to the survivors of murder victims and their families such as Suzan Annette Sowlers-Fuller a former resident of Bakersfield, California. I say former because she was murdered. Ms. Rosenthal could begin her field trip by going to the court house and reading the transcripts on the case. From there she could arrange to meet with the Prosecutor in the case and review those documents, including the order of protection and the ridiculous bond amounts set in this case. Afterwards, I suggest she personally visit the home where both Suzan Annette and her mother Sharon were murdered by Robert Fuller on August 8, 2009.
Finally, Lynn Rosenthal should meet with Suzan's two daughters, ages 8 and 5, perhaps at their favorite ice cream shop to delicately discuss firsthand accounts of their young lives through the day of the murders. When speaking to these children, who are unable to sit in a booth and have their feet touch the floor, she should look them each in their eyes and explain why the system failed their Mommy.
This is not easy to do from behind a White House desk (you have to leave it once in a while). Lynn Rosenthal must head into the battlefield. I can certainly donate a video camera if their is no budget in the WhiteHouse to record testimony for these tragedies. There is nothing like the testimony of a child, who watched as the bullets hit their mother, then grandmother's bodies. Or copies of the actual crime scene photos and morgue reports, to boil ones blood into taking action.
Effective action is what I have been doing for over 20 years with results that save lives, perhaps Ms. Rosenthal could pass that on the next time she meets with Vice-President Biden. I apologize if I sound sarcastic, I am far too busy with those victims I am desperately trying to keep alive so I don't have to inform a family their loved one is dead or tell a child "mommy is in heaven," because the system ignored them.