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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 4, 1998

November 4, 1998


SUBJECT: Guidebook for Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the most serious public health issues and criminal justice issues facing our Nation. About 30 percent of female murder victims are killed by intimates each year. Women aged 16-24 experience the highest rates of intimate violence. In 1996, women experienced an estimated 840,000 incidents of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault at the hands of intimates. While this number has declined from 1.1 million incidents in 1993, we must strive to eliminate domestic violence both for its effects on victims as well as on their children. Domestic violence does not discriminate -- it affects individuals of every age, race, gender, class, and religion.

My Administration is committed to fighting the scourge of domestic violence. As part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, I fought for and signed into law the historic Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which provides a comprehensive approach to domestic violence, both through prosecuting offenders and providing assistance to victims. Through VAWA, my Administration has provided almost half a billion dollars through STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) grants to the states for law enforcement, prosecution, and victim services to prevent and respond to violence against women. The extension of the Brady Law prohibits anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense from owning a firearm. The Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act of 1996 makes it a Federal crime to cross State lines intending to injure or harass another person.

In 1995, I established the Violence Against Women Office at the Department of Justice, elevating the fight against domestic violence to the national level for the first time. Since 1996, the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) has provided immediate crisis intervention, counseling, and referrals to those in need, responding to as many as 10,000 calls each month.

Domestic violence affects all aspects of our society -- the family, the community, and the workplace. As the Nation's largest employer, the Federal Government has tried to set an example for private employers to protect and provide assistance to workers who are victims of domestic violence. In 1995, I signed an executive memorandum requiring all Federal departments to begin employee awareness efforts on domestic violence. Last year, the Vice President announced that the Office of Personnel Management had developed a guide-book for dealing with workplace violence that outlines a wide array of strategies for preventing violence at work and for helping supervisors, security, and employee assistance staff to recognize the signs of violence, including domestic violence.

Building upon these efforts, it is important to provide a resource guide to the thousands of Federal employees across the country, whether they are a victim of domestic violence or a family member, neighbor, friend, or co-worker of someone who is being abused. I accordingly direct you to prepare within 120 days a guidebook that will (1) assist Federal employees who are victims of domestic violence by providing up-to-date information about available resources and outline strategies to ensure safety; and (2) help those who know a Federal employee who is being abused to prevent and respond to the situation. This guidebook should list private as well as public resources such as counseling, law enforcement, workplace leave policies, and substance abuse programs. In developing this guidebook, you should consult with all interested parties, including the private sector and other Federal agencies and offices -- particularly, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

This guidebook, in conjunction with my Administration's continuing efforts to combat domestic violence, will help to promote the safety of all Federal workers and their families.