Response from The White House!

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Holy Smokes! Look you guys! Look what Jane found in her email today!

Happy Weekend!

The White House, Washington
Dear Jane:Thank you for writing.  I have heard from many Americans who have spoken out about domestic violence, and I appreciate your perspective.Domestic violence is a devastating crime that affects men, women, and children from every walk of life and in every corner of our country.  The breadth of this problem is staggering—1 in  4 women and 1  in  7 men have experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.  Many of those cases go unreported, and without intervention, some will end in even greater tragedy.

Reversing these trends starts with raising awareness.  With Vice President Joe Biden’s leadership, my Administration is engaging stakeholders nationwide in the fight to end domestic violence.  We have shined a light on the unconscionable rates of dating violence and sexual assault against teens and young adults.  We have launched a new initiative to stop domestic violence before it becomes deadly.  And from town halls to college campuses, we have partnered with communities across America to combat sexual and domestic violence wherever it occurs.

As we keep working to prevent violence, we will continue to stand with survivors.  My Administration remains committed to getting victims of domestic violence the help they need, from emergency shelter and legal assistance to transitional housing and services for children.  Because we should lead by example, I directed my Administration to address the effects of domestic violence in the Federal workforce and assist employees who may be experiencing domestic violence.  We are also taking important steps to break the cycle of violence once and for all.

In March 2013, I was proud to sign the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which renews and strengthens the law that first made it possible for our country to address domestic violence in a real and comprehensive way.  VAWA preserves critical services like domestic violence shelters.  It upholds protections for immigrant victims, extends new ones to Native Americans, and breaks down barriers that keep lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims from getting help.  The law also gives state and tribal law enforcement better tools to deliver justice for survivors and hold offenders accountable.

These efforts build on what we put in place with the Affordable Care Act.  Thanks to the law, domestic violence screening and counseling became required preventive services for women under most insurance plans.  And beginning in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to survivors of domestic violence or drop a woman’s coverage because she is being abused.

These are important steps forward, but we cannot let up.  My Administration will keep fighting for better protections and greater awareness, and local leaders should do the same.  Civic organizations can urge public discussion about domestic violence; neighbors can report violence when they see it; family members can help loved ones seek assistance.  Together, we can bring more attention to this quiet crisis and give everyone the chance to live free from violence.

Thank you, again, for writing.  To learn more about our efforts and how you can get involved, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/1is2many. For more information on domestic violence, how to take action, or how to get help, visit www.OVW.USDOJ.gov. You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.TheHotline.org or 1‑800‑799‑7233.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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