What a week and year we have had. Today, I am reminded that the fate of victims and survivors of relationship abuse does not depend on one person or one election. Real change happens when we have the courage to reach out to one another. When we have the courage to say, “I need help,” to someone else. When we realize that we can only go so far alone, but together we can go even further.
Domestic violence knows no party lines. It does not discriminate against age, gender, income or status. It touches all of us.
In 1994, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) acknowledged these facts. VAWA created what we now know today as the National Domestic Violence Hotline. When we work together, we are able to achieve so much more for victims and survivors. Let us all remember this.
I hope our legislators will remember there are still 157 million women in this country, and one in four of them will experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. There are 119 million men, and one in seven of them will also experience this violence. This year, The Hotline is on track to receive 500,000 of their calls for help.
These victims and survivors exist. They are real. Together, we must push forward and continue to be the voice for the thousands of people who reach out to The Hotline and other domestic violence programs around the country, seeking support, resources and hope for a life free from abuse.
The Hotline is still answering the call to support and shift power back to those affected by relationship abuse. We’re still here 24/7/365 for victims, survivors and their loved ones. And I am committed to standing with you to do everything in my power to ensure it stays this way.
Let us not forget that it is each of us who can truly influence change in the lives of our fellow citizens. We take care of each other.