"The more you watch, the more you see," states an African proverb.
As the presidential candidates present their closing arguments, perhaps more can be learned not by what has been heard, but by what has been seen. Along with the conclusion of the presidential campaign, Domestic Violence Awareness Month also winds down.
Nearly 1,400 women a year or 4 per day die in the United States due to domestic violence. Yet, President Bush's FY 2009 budget proposed a $120 million cut from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), elimination of the balance of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund, and only $122.6 million for the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA)- $52.4 million less than the level for which it was authorized.
John McCain, who voted against the landmark 1994 VAWA, calling it "ineffective and ill-conceived," appears to have no current policy or statement regarding Domestic Violence. Barack Obama, however, has a clear policy: Ending Violence Against Women and Children .
This policy aims to make Domestic Violence a White House Priority, reduce Domestic Violence, support victims' economic security, strengthen criminal laws, and increase funding of the VAWA.
Since Senator Obama has been in the U.S. Senate, he cosponsored and helped reauthorize VAWA and introduced legislation to provide $25 million for prevention and victim support and has been a longtime supporter of domestic violence shelters.
In addition, Senator Joe Biden has been a champion in the fight against domestic violence and sponsored the original 1994 VAWA legislation. Biden has also promised, if an Obama administration is elected, to create a full-time White House staff advisory position with the responsibility to coordinate a focused Domestic Violence effort and report on violence against women.
"So often, victims of domestic abuse suffer in silence - they don't know where to turn, and they often have no one to turn to. And so it's easy to think that one of these victims could be somebody you love - a mother, a daughter, or a sister... I want you to know that you're not alone in this struggle - that there are people listening and fighting with you to bring this issue out of the darkness of isolation and into the light of justice. I want you to know that I'll continue to be one of those people."
He who has a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9
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