Citing his own story of abuse at the hands of previous step-fathers, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown said he doesn’t see reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act as the divisive political issue some GOP legislators do. To him, it is just good legislation.
“It is something that is personal to me. My first experience was when I was 6 years old, trying to save my mom from getting the crap kicked out of her. It’s still something I vividly remember,”Brown said. “My message to women, men and children, is that you’re not alone. If you’re feeling that you are, you should know you have many groups, groups which weren’t available when my Mom was experiencing it, that are out there. You should leave and get help. That’s something my Mom didn’t have the ability to do back then.”
In 1994, Congress stood together and passed the Violence Against Women Act, which provides grant money for police departments and agencies to aid victims and prosecute domestic violence offenders.
Brown spoke in the Senate on Wednesday about his childhood and his belief that the bill should pass.
During his speech, he read the names of dozens of victims of domestic violence from Massachusetts, including Jessica Rojas of Springfield and Jessica Ann Pripstein of Easthampton, who police say were killed by men they were dating or had dated.
On Friday, Brown is visiting a shelter in Framingham and holding a press conference alongside his sister to push for the bill’s renewal.
“There’s no reason why Democrats and Republicans can’t get together on this issue. If there are concerns then we should hammer it out on the Senate floor through an open and thoughtful amendment process,” Brown said. “I usually find that when that happens, reasonable minds prevail and we get these things done.”
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This story first ran in the Springfield Republican on March 21, 2012.