THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 1995
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Domestic violence disrupts communities, destroys relationships, and harms hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. It is a serious crime that takes many forms and a complex problem with multiple causes. Those abused can be children, siblings, spouses, or parents, and both victims and offenders come from all racial, social, religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Among the most tragic effects of family violence is the cycle of abuse perpetuated by children and teenagers who see and experience brutality at home -- these young people often lack crucial guidance to help them form strong, positive bonds of kinship.
Americans are fortunate that knowledge about domestic violence has increased and that public interest in deterrence is stronger than ever. During the past decade, vital partnerships have formed between Federal agencies and private-sector organi-zations to expand prevention services in urban, rural, and underserved areas across the country. These efforts have helped to coordinate aid for victims and their children -- not only providing shelter, but also furnishing alcohol and drug abuse treatment, child care, and counseling. In addition, I am proud that the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 contains tough new sanctions and includes a provision for a national "hot line" where victims can receive information and assistance.
But the struggle to end domestic violence is far from over. According to a recent Justice Department study for 1992 and 1993, women were about six times more likely than men to experience violence committed by offenders with whom they had an intimate relationship. And in 1992, nearly 30 percent of all female homicide victims were known to have been killed by husbands, former husbands, or boyfriends. We need more prevention campaigns and public awareness efforts; we must develop and share successful methods of prevention, intervention, and treatment for victims and perpetrators; and we must continue to build alliances among government, community associations, businesses, educators, and religious organizations to strengthen our families and to teach alternatives to violent behavior.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 1995, as "National Domestic Violence Awareness Month." I call upon government officials, law enforcement agencies, health professionals, educators, and the people of the United States to join together to end the family violence that threatens so many citizens. I further encourage all Americans to recognize the dedication of those working to end the horrors of abuse. Offering support, guidance, encouragement, and compassion to survivors, these caring individuals exemplify our Nation's highest ideals of service and citizenship.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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