Archive for Friday, February 11, 2005

Advocates target domestic violence

February 11, 2005


— National, state and local leaders were on hand at the Capitol to try to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence.

"A lot of progress has been made, but there are still a lot of gaps in the system," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said during events marking the second annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day.

Officials with Women's Transitional Care Services Inc. and GaDuGi SafeCenter, both of Lawrence, had information tables in the Capitol.

The event was sponsored by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Nationally, 1.3 million women per year are assaulted by an intimate partner. In Kansas, domestic violence occurs every 26 minutes and 27 seconds.

Sebelius urged advocates to write their congressmen to oppose proposed cuts in President Bush's budget to hotline crisis programs and other social services.

"Taking out that deficit by making our streets and homes and communities less safe is a bad way to make a decision," she said.

Don McPherson, a former NFL football player and nationally known speaker against violence, said men must become involved in efforts to stop violence against women.

"We have to confront sexism and misogyny every place it exists," McPherson said.

Sarah Jane Russell, executive director of GaDuGi SafeCenter, said many victims of sexual violence are afraid to come forward for help.

She said that is why her group and the WTCS exist.

"We can receive those stories and assist in determining what is next," she said.

At the WTCS booth, there were T-shirts with antiviolence messages, including one that read: "No more tears, no more pain. Tired of this endless game."

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