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Attorney General Baker Joins With Nation's Attorneys General In Commemorating October As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

PRESS ADVISORY

Attorney General Baker Joins With Nation's Attorneys General In Commemorating October As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1, 2002

Attorney General Thurbert Baker joined with the National Association of Attorneys General today in commemorating October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As the chief law enforcement officers of the their respective states, Attorneys General around the country are highlighting this important event to increase the public's awareness.

"Domestic violence can affect all individuals, regardless of race, nationality, language, culture, economics, physical ability or religion," said Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Co-Convener of NAAG's Violence Against Women Committee. "Domestic violence is a crime that impacts the entire community."

Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.

Nearly one-third of American women murdered each year are killed by their current or former partners, usually a husband.

Approximately 1 million women report being stalked each year in the United States.

In 92% of all domestic violence incidents, crimes are committed by men against women.

Family violence costs the nation from $5 to $10 billion annually in medical expenses.

A child's exposure to the father abusing the mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.

Attorney General Baker has worked to end the culture of abuse that causes abusive behavior to be passed from generation to generation. “It is imperative that we not only end domestic violence against the current generation, but that we also end the cycle of abuse,” stated Attorney General Baker. “Abusers all too often learn the ABC’s of abuse by watching their parents, when they should be learning how to read. Parents should be showing their kids love, not how to throw a left hook at their spouse.” To work towards this goal, Attorney General Baker pushed legislation through the General Assembly that made Georgia the first state in the nation to make it a crime to commit an act of domestic violence in front of a child.

In an effort to develop a comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to domestic violence, Attorneys General are working with a number of community stakeholders. Oftentimes, domestic violence isn't confined to a private residence. It's impact can be felt in schools, places of work, health care centers and other parts of the community. "I want to encourage all employers to get involved in fighting domestic violence," said Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, Co-Convener of NAAG's Violence Against Women Committee. "Millions of dollars a year are lost due to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and increased health benefits costs related to domestic violence."

Although heightened awareness and legislation are helping to address the problem, Attorneys General are continuing to work with federal, state and local agencies to help implement tough and effective strategies that can eradicate and address incidents of domestic violence.