June 28, 2009

Farrah Fawcett’s ‘Burning Bed’ Gave Domestic Abuse Another Face

From examiner.com:
By Connie Ann Kirk

Actor, Farrah Fawcett, had said in various interviews over the years that the work she was most proud of was her role as Francine Hughes in The Burning Bed. Adapted from the non-fiction book by Faith McNulty, the television movie helped give the problem of domestic abuse another face–a familiar and glamorous one that television audiences knew well.

The book was about a woman who had lived with her husband hitting her for quite some time. Finally, one night after he raped her in their bed, she set the bed on fire with him in it. It was a true story.

Fawcett was perhaps best-known for her role as Jill Munroe on the popular detective television series, Charlie’s Angels. However, when she undertook the serious part in The Burning Bed, she allowed herself to look, not like the poster pin-up she had become, but instead as a battered and beaten woman–bruised, sweaty, hair messed up–a woman distraught; and a woman torn. Her performance in the film made those who had not done so before look at Ms. Fawcett as having the talent of a serious actor.

There will be eulogies and tributes to Farrah Fawcett now at her passing. People will remember her for many things–poster girl; Charlie’s Angel; a spokesperson for cancer patients in her later days–but perhaps considering a list of works she found most satisfying in her chosen profession is one of the best ways to remember her. The Burning Bed is certainly one of the prime candidates for that list.

R.I.P., Farrah Fawcett.

June 24, 2009

Senate Subcommittee to Vote on VAWA CJS Spending Measure

Senate Subcommittee to Vote on VAWA CJS Spending Measure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) will begin work on its FY 2010 budget, which includes funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs.

Last week the House passed their version of the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (HR 2847), which, thanks to your efforts included an increase of $17.5 million over the FY 2009 budget and the President’s FY 2010 budget proposal for VAWA CJS programs.

Today we need you to call the members of the Senate CJS Subcommittee and ask them to fully fund VAWA programs at $683 million and raise the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Cap to $705 million.

Take Action Now!

Call the members of the Senate CJS Subcommittee and ask them to fully fund VAWA programs at $683 million and raise the VOCA Cap to $705 million.

Click here to see if either of your Senators sits on the CJS Subcommittee.

Never called your Senator before? Don’t worry, it’s easy!

Call 1-866-305-9428 toll free to be connected to the Capitol Switchboard.

Tell them the name of your Senator and they will connect you to their office. Your call will be answered by a receptionist. Tell him or her:

“Hello, my name is ____ and I am a constituent, from [include your state and town or zip].”

“I urge Senator [last name] to fully fund the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs at $683 million and raise the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) cap to $705 million. VAWA programs have helped to make our country a safer place for families, victims and communities. By fully funding these vital, cost-effective programs, Congress will help to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence in our country."

“Thank you.”

Outlook and Next Steps
After the CJS subcommittee passes its budget, the full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on the CJS budget on Thursday, June 25th before the full Senate votes on the final CJS budget. Please stay tuned for updates.

Email your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to call. Our strength is in our numbers and your calls make a difference! For more information please contact Tralonne Shorter at tshorter@nnedv.org or 202.543.5566

Additional Information

Click here for more information on funding on VAWA funding.

June 16, 2009

The Continued Importance of the Violence Against Women Act

The Acting Director from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice realizes that abusive, battering fathers are getting custody of children. She testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary recently:





JUNE 10, 2009

What is interesting is close to the final remarks in the statement is this:

The complicated issue of child custody presents another challenge involving the intersection of children and domestic violence. Battered women losing custody of their children is a serious and growing problem. In August of 2008, OVW convened a Roundtable Discussion on Custody and Domestic Violence with experts and practitioners to inform OVW about how battered women are losing custody of their children to either the perpetrators (through Family Court) or to the State (through Child Protective Services). As a result of the Roundtable Discussion, OVW will be supporting a variety of projects: training for attorneys and judges; increased access to legal representation for victims of domestic violence; training for custody evaluators; the development of easily accessible resources and tools that will assist judges and others in making informed decisions around custody; and increased public awareness about how children are being placed in the custody of batterers and how that is affecting those children. OVW will also increase collaboration with HHS to assist in developing better domestic violence practices for the child protection system.

To download “THE CONTINUED IMPORTANCE OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT”, statement by Catherine Pierce, Acting Director of OVW, before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, please click here.

June 14, 2009

Domestic Violence Reports Rising in Economy

Financial stress getting physical

WASHINGTON (NBC) - A tragic by-product of America's economic problems is a rise in domestic violence. Doctors and social workers are seeing more battered women and abused children. As families struggle to pay their bills, sometimes all that financial stress gets physical.

After more than 20 years of verbal and physical abuse, Kathryn Fukusawa thought things couldn't get worse, then the recession hit. "When I couldn't support the family anymore due to my depression and the economics not being, not allowing me to find a job, that the abuse become much more severe," Kathryn said.

After Wall Street collapsed last fall, more than half the calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline came from women like Kathryn whose financial situation had changed.

This year, nearly three out of four shelters report seeing more women in crisis with money problems, many related to stress and job loss. "Families who never had abuse in their relationships are absolutely being pushed to the stressing point where things are getting more explosive than they had been," Jane Randel with Liz Claiborne said.

Today, Liz Claiborne and the Family Violence Prevention Fund report half the teenagers with parents stressed-out over money are seeing verbal, emotional and physical abuse at home, and often end up in abusive relationships themselves.

"It's simple: kids watch what their parents do," Esa Soler with Family Violence Prevention Fund said. "They learn what their parents do, and they repeat it."

Boston hospitals suspect the economy's to blame for increasing cases of child abuse. "Toilet training or um, learning to talk, having frustrations, having meltdowns, and for a parent who's already stressed, those behaviors can be very provocative," Dr. Alice Newton with the Children's Hospital Boston said.

With no income, Kathryn had a tough choice: take the abuse, or be homeless. Eventually, she left. "It took me 10 months to find a job, but I went through those 10 months diligently knowing that I was going to have to persevere," Kathryn said.

Researchers have found that couples under financial strain are three times more likely to experience domestic violence.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, advocates urged Congress to beef up the laws that protect victims, mostly women and children.