Friday, April 13, 2012

Domestic Violence | A Community Issue

For most of American history, domestic violence has been thought of as a private family issue; however with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice report that one in four women will fall victim to domestic violence in their lifetime, it is clear that we as a society have to do more to stomp out this abhorrent practice. Although women are more commonly victimized by domestic violence crimes, men account for 15 percent of intimate partner violence. This widespread abuse is no longer a private problem as it has become a social issue affecting the well-being and healthy development of too many families and communities. Our efforts to prevent this abuse have benefited many families; however, more can be done.

State agencies and domestic violence advocates have done an impressive job in getting the public involved in building safer communities by fighting back against domestic violence. The work to educate the public on domestic violence and prevention techniques has set many families on the right path. Still, new domestic violence stories continue to appear daily in the media.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, on average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. Studies also show that the costs of domestic violence in our country for medical and health care have exceeded $5.8 billion per year.

While many still view domestic violence as a psychological and private family issue, it is imperative to understand its societal affects. The damage of domestic violence has been shown to perpetuate the poverty and psychological challenges that face many American families. This creates a negative environment in which to raise our children.

Many factors lead to domestic violence; however, a larger social effort is vital to move toward freedom from this abuse. There is so much more we can do stop the prevalence of this offence. There is power in numbers: more of us should get involved to encourage victims and their children overcome domestic violence and other forms of abuse by empowering them to govern their own lives. From spreading awareness to sharing countering techniques and suggesting methods to voting for new legislation, our combined efforts will change the course of this domestic violence.

After serving four years in the California State Assembly, Leland Yee was elected to the State Senate in November 2006. In 2010, Senator Yee was re-elected. Representing District 8, which includes San Francisco and San Mateo County, Yee is the first Chinese American ever elected to the California State Senate.

During his tenure in the Legislature, Senator Yee has fought for children, mental health services, working families, seniors, education, open government, consumer protection, civil rights, and the environment. He has consistently voted against budget cuts to education, social services, and health care.