Members of the press, domestic violence advocates and community members listen to remarks about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the NO MORE campaign and the need to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act on October 1, 2012 at the press conference and kick-off event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the NO MORE campaign in Rhode Island.
PROVIDENCE, RI - Yesterday, on the first of October, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) announced the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by launching its NO MORE campaign at a press conference in the State House.
"RICADV is calling for community involvement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. That is the heart of the NO MORE campaign, which asks everyone the question, 'what will you do?' and stresses intolerance to any kind of abuse," said Deborah DeBare, executive director of RICADV. "Every Rhode Islander has a role in preventing domestic violence."
Through the implementation of the national NO MORE campaign, RICADV intends to educate the community in ways everyone can help—the first step being a resounding pledge to say NO MORE to any kind of intimate partner violence. Yesterday Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin all shared the work they have been doing in the movement to end domestic violence to an audience that included survivors, advocates and community members. With reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) still pending in Congress, many legislators - including the full RI Congressional Delegation - have been petitioning for Senate-passed language that is more inclusive and offers equal protection to all victims of abuse.
"The Violence Against Women Act is literally a lifeline that protects domestic violence victims. Without critical support from VAWA and organizations like the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its member agencies, victims and their kids can remain trapped in abusive situations and the cycle of violence continues. VAWA is effective. It saves lives, families, and taxpayer dollars. It should be renewed so we can build on effective programs like the ones at Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence that are making a real difference in people's lives," said Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee which oversees federal funding for the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women programs.
~ Senator Jack Reed
"I'm proud to stand with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence as it launches its NO MORE campaign," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "We must work together as a community to raise awareness about domestic violence issues early and often. My SMART Prevention Act, which was included in the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, would support increased domestic violence education, mentoring, and services for teens. I'll keep fighting to make sure that bill becomes law, and I thank RICADV for all of its efforts."
~ Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
"Every individual deserves to live free from the fear of intimidation, victimization or retribution," said Congressman Jim Langevin. "So I commend everyone in the community who continues to fight for this freedom in the face of great challenges. Congress can and must act to make this fight a little easier by passing a fair and comprehensive version of the Violence Against Women Act and I will continue to strongly oppose the proposal by House Republicans that weakens protections for victims."
~ Congressman Jim Langevin
"I am pleased to join the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence to highlight such an important issue," said Cicilline. "I am proud to continue fighting for a Violence Against Women Act that includes strong protections and improves protections for populations that have been underserved by domestic violence programs."
~ Congressman David Cicilline
"In 2011, the Office of Attorney General prosecuted nearly 800 domestic violence felonies. Right now, the office is in the first days of the domestic murder trial of Armando Garcia, who brutally killed his girlfriend Brooke Lee Verdoia in her home while her young child was present," said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. "While there has been much improvement in law enforcement and the prosecution of domestic violence, the murder of Brooke is a stark reminder of the devastation it causes. I applaud the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence for continuing to shine a light on the issue of domestic violence. Through awareness and education, together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault."
~ Attorney General Peter Kilmartin
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