Armstrong points out some of the worst to suffer are the thousands of children who have lost one or both parents to domestic violence. Even worse, many have witnessed the violent deaths of one or both of their parents. Left orphaned, many end up in the custody of the state and in foster homes.
I have been battling the Great American Custody Wars ever since the mid-1970s. I could not believe what was happening to mothers then -- and when I broke the news, in the 1980s, few people believed me.
I know what it's like to live with someone who terrifies you. I know what it's like to go to sleep sick and wake up scared. I know you. And I want you to hear me, as one survivor to another: It's not your fault.
True justice is not measured by what we think we would do in a similar situation; it is measured by the law and how the law applies to certain facts. It is time to stop using the law to blame the victims, and instead find solutions that truly protect our nation's children from violence and abuse.
The other day I heard some news that made my heart do a happy dance: the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) recently donated picture books about pets to children in over 600 domestic violence shelters across the U.S.
This was an unforgettable experience that reminded me of what philanthropy is all about - love of humanity, to care, to belong, to register one's presence regardless of one's life circumstance.
Prior to VAWA, in many states physical and sexual violence against a woman by someone she knew was not considered as serious a crime as was an attack by a stranger. Thinking about it now, it's hard to believe.
I was shocked to read, was the following excerpt of Dr. Boyce Watkins's open letter to Janay Rice in which he calls women who stay with their abusers in order to keep their families intact "heroes."