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Ted Poe, R-TX 2nd
Mr. POE of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
It is an honor to once again sponsor this Domestic Violence Awareness Month resolution.
I want to commend Judge Green for working with me on this issue. He did make one mistake, however. He said we have known each other for 20 years. I'm sorry; it has been 30 years since we [Page: H7086]
were young buck lawyers in the courthouse doing battle in Houston, Texas. So it has been a long time.
But he is correct, this is an issue that must continue to come to the awareness of the American people, that domestic violence is something that is, unfortunately, continuing in this country.
Thirty-five percent of the murder victims that were killed in 2008 were killed at the hands of people they knew. Intimate partners, 35 percent of them, murdered by people that were close to them.
In 2007, crimes by intimate partners accounted for 23 percent of all crimes against women.
In a single day in 2009, 65,000 victims were treated by domestic violence programs; but, due to lack of resources and funding, almost 10,000 were turned away because there were no resources to take care of them.
We have a growing need and presence of domestic violence shelters throughout the country, and they have fewer and fewer resources to take care of these women who seek refuge from someone that they knew who has been trying to assault them or has succeeded in assaulting them.
Congress must, of course, pass the reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. Victim service providers are on the front lines of defense against domestic violence, and this funding is vital to the treatment and reduction of domestic violence.
I spent all of my legal career before coming here as a prosecutor and a criminal court judge, so I was always in the courthouse doing criminal cases, and I saw the result of what happens when people in family situations commit crimes against other family members. It is something that has to cease in this country, and it is also something that we, as a community, need to be aware of. Unfortunately, many times courts don't take these cases seriously.
One of my favorite people is Yvette Cade from Baltimore, Maryland. Yvette Cade was a real person, still is a real person. And all these cases are about real people, Mr. Speaker.
On October 10, 2005, Yvette Cade's estranged husband--Roger Hargrave is his name. He and his wife were not getting along, so he sought her out. He went to the business where she worked, a video store, walked inside with a bottle full of gasoline, came up to her, and he poured that gasoline over her head and he set her on fire. Yvette Cade, a victim of domestic violence.
She survived that brutal assault, and, thanks to a passerby that saw this happen, the fire was put out in the parking lot. The judge involved in this case, Prince George's County Judge Richard Palumbo, had already lifted a protective order against Hargrave. If he had not lifted that protective order to keep him away from his estranged wife, she may not have had this brutal assault committed against her.
Now, Hargrave is serving life in prison for the assault, setting his wife on fire, but Mrs. Yvette Cade has third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body. She has had 19 surgeries. She survived this brutal attack. She is a remarkable woman. She has a spirit that it surprises me she has the spirit that she does.
But she is just one of thousands of people, Mr. Speaker, that are assaulted in the family, and it continues. We, in this society, must make sure that it is socially unacceptable to hurt somebody in the family.
My grandmother, who was the most influential person in my life, lived to be the age of 99. Judge Green would like this: She never forgave me for being a Republican. That is a different issue. But she always said, You never hurt somebody you claim you love. And that is a true statement, and it always has been. You never hurt somebody you claim you love. We need to send that message out throughout the Nation, especially in these family situations. And young males need to understand that if they
get in a relationship with a young woman that they never hurt them if they claim they love them.
So it is an honor for me to support this. I honor also and recognize the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, all those wonderful organizations that are out there taking care mainly of women who find themselves in desperate situations because someone that supposedly loved them treated them so badly.