[Congressional Record Volume 149, Number 39 (Tuesday, March 11, 2003)]
[Pages H1692-H1693]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of 
January 7, 2003, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Coble) is 
recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.
  Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss a very important issue: 
domestic violence. Last week marked the second annual ``Stop Violence 
Week in Washington.'' A series of events were held here to encourage 
men and women to come together to stop violence.
  As chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism 
and Homeland Security, this issue is of particular concern to me. In 
the 108th Congress, our subcommittee will be tackling important issues 
relating to violence prevention. The Bureau of Justice statistics 
estimate that in 1998 about 1 million crimes were committed against 
persons by their current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends. 
These types of crimes are generally referred to as ``intimate partner 
violence,'' and women are the victims in about 85 percent of the cases. 
In 1998, in excess of 1,800 murders were committed by persons against 
their intimate partners.
  Although these statistics are shocking, we have made great strides in 
the last 2 decades at increasing awareness of this problem, which is 
half the battle. Congress has taken an active role in addressing the 
problem by authorizing expiring grant programs and establishing new 
grants to more effectively target violence and abuse. Federal grant 
dollars are available through the Department of Justice and the 
Department of Health and Human Services to be used by State and local 
authorities to assist their communities and schools in fighting 
violence. For example, grants may be used by local

[[Page H1693]]

authorities to aid law enforcement officers and prosecutors in 
gathering evidence and building cases to bring violent criminals to 
  These grants also may be used to operate training programs for victim 
advocates and counselors. Many victims of domestic violence and sexual 
assault are afraid to retell their stories to friends, family or a 
counselor. Training people to know how to assist victims of domestic 
violence is a necessary tool in fighting this epidemic and preventing 
future abuse.
  The 2000 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act created 
new grants to be used to address violence issues on college campuses. 
It also authorized new grant monies to assist victims of violence with 
legal concerns and to address violence against the elderly and 
  Continuing its commitment to fighting violence and domestic abuse, 
Congress provided generous monies again this year to the Department of 
Justice's Office on Violence Against Women.
  It is important to recognize the work and dedication as well of 
groups committed to increasing awareness surrounding domestic violence 
through education campaigns, intervention, and counseling.

                              {time}  1245

  Mr. Speaker, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the 
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Center 
for Victims of Crimes are just a few groups that are active in ridding 
our Nation, our homes, of violence. Many State and local groups across 
the country also work day to day to prevent violence, aggressively 
enforce penalties, and counsel victims of violent crimes.
  Mr. Speaker, I hope that the Congress will continue to fund outreach 
and education programs and encourage individuals to work together to 
change attitudes towards these crimes. It is clear that we are making 
progress in this area, but we must continue to work together to 
eradicate violence against women. To all of those working at the local, 
State and Federal level to eliminate domestic violence and sexual 
abuse, we express our thanks to them for their selfless efforts and 
dedication. We hope that our support in the Congress will assist them 
in this very important battle and fight.