From: The Honorable Jerrold Nadler
Sent By: email@example.com
Supported By: Break the Cycle, Legal Momentum, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
** This is a Programmatic Request **
Deadline: COB, this Friday, March 27, 2009
March 23, 2009
Please join me in sending the letter below in support of funding for the Jessica Gonzales Victim Assistance Program in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010.
The Jessica Gonzales Victim Assistance Program, which in the Violence Against Women and
Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 was authorized as an allowable purpose area in the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors (STOP) formula grant program, seeks to improve the effectiveness of protective orders to protect women and families from domestic violence. The program puts special victim assistants in local law enforcement agencies to act as liaisons between local law enforcement and victims of domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
This program is named for Jessica Gonzales, whose tragic story shows the need for improvements to the enforcement of protective orders. Her terrible situation involves the abduction of her three young children by her estranged husband, Mr. Simon Gonzales. Despite repeated calls by Ms. Gonzales to enforce a protective order against her husband, the police did not act. Mr. Gonzales eventually killed their children, before he himself was killed by police.
Tragically, violence against women is a pervasive problem, which goes beyond class, culture, age, or ethnic background. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, in 2006 about 2.8 million women over the age of 12 were subjected to a crime of violence, including 232,960 who were victims of rape or sexual assault. In that same year, 3,156 women were murdered. About one-third of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner, which averages to about three women each day. Every year 1.3 million women over the age of 18 are assaulted by intimate partners and 500,000 women over the age of 18 are stalked by intimate partners, according to the 2000 report of the National Violence Against Women Survey. Based on this data, the Centers for Disease Control has reported that intimate partner violence has direct and indirect costs of more than $8.3 billion per year.
I urge you to support funding to protect women and children from domestic violence by signing on to the letter below by Friday, March 27, 2009. To sign on, or if you have any questions, please contact Andrew Ginsburg in my office at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> .
Member of Congress