Friday, October 7, 2011

Governor’s Weekly Message: Helping Survivors of Domestic Violence

DOVER - In his weekly message, Governor Jack Markell talks about helping survivors of domestic violence. Earlier this week, the Governor joined with Attorney General Beau Biden, State Senator Patricia Blevins and advocates from across the state to declare October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“Domestic violence destroys lives. It tears apart families and can leave its survivors with scars – both physical and emotional – that can take years to heal,” said Governor Markell. “And yet millions of cases of domestic violence happen in our country each year. In the most severe cases – domestic violence becomes murder.”
In 2010, over 28,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported in Delaware. According to the State Bureau of Identification, 45%-percent of those incidents were between intimate partners. State domestic violence and rape crisis hotlines answered over 3,600 calls for help throughout the year, and over 3,200 petitions for Protection From Abuse orders were processed by Family Court.
The Governor shared information on services and new protections for survivors, as well as a new fund to help nonprofits improve services to survivors. The state’s new Domestic Violence Fund, which comes from a fee charged for each certified copy of a marriage license/certificate, is now seeking applications for funding from non-profit agencies who help survivors of domestic violence who want to enhance or increase their services. Currently, approximately $98,000 is available to programs in all three counties. The Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC) and the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC) are administering the program. Applications are due by November 3, 2011.
On October 3rd, the new Address Confidentiality Program, authorized by legislation written by Attorney General Beau Biden and sponsored by Sen. Blevins, Sen. Liane Sorenson, Rep. Michael Barbieri, and Rep. Deborah Hudson became operational. It allows victims of domestic violence sexual assault, and stalking, as well as those in the witness protection program, to keep their actual address private by using a Department of Justice authorized substitute address in its place. It was signed into law by the Governor shortly after its passage in the General Assembly.
“If you are a survivor – know that there is help. If you know someone in a situation you suspect is dangerous – get them help. It’s only by working together that we can break this terrible cycle of violence and abuse and help survivors, and our state, move forward,” said Markell.
Weekly message: http://youtu.be/D0pJkKNDS4I
Footage from Domestic Violence Awareness Month signing: http://youtu.be/j1psSG--WTo
About the Governor’s Weekly Message: 
At noon every Friday, a new video message is posted to the Governor’s website and YouTube channel and is distributed to Delaware media outlets. Transcripts of the messages are posted and the audio version of the Governor’s message is available on iTunes as a podcast for distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers. The Governor’s weekly message is currently being carried on the air and posted on websites by various media outlets, and the direct link is http://youtu.be/D0pJkKNDS4I.
Constituents, media outlets and others are free to link to the Governor’s video message on YouTube -http://www.youtube.com/user/GovernorMarkell  - or on his Facebook page -www.facebook.com/governormarkell - or on the Delaware State website athttp://governor.delaware.gov/information/podcast_video.shtml .  All are also invited to follow him on Twitter - www.twitter.com/governormarkell - and submit ideas through http://ideas.delaware.gov.