Delegate Peace Underscores Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues

Peace to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month events across the 97th District Mechanicsville, VA – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), which evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). To highlight this serious problem, Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) will take part in numerous events across the 97th District throughout the month of October.

Peace serves as a board member of Hanover Safe Place, which is a local domestic violence task force. He will be participating as a race judge in their 8th Annual 5K Run and Fun Walk on October 7 at Ashland Berry Farm. On October 11, Peace will be the delivering the keynote address at the “Take Back the Night” march in West Point. This event is sponsored by Project Hope at the Quin Rivers Agency for Community Action. Lastly, he will join fellow legislators and members of the faith based community at Hurkamp Park in Fredericksburg to highlight the important role the faith community plays in addressing issues of domestic violence. This event is organized by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance in cooperation with the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault.

As a member of the House Courts of Justice committee, Delegate Peace plays an active role in advancement of legislation that serves to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and to exact tougher penalties on those that victimize. “Raising awareness of sexual and domestic violence is vital to the provision of services to meet the needs of those who have been victimized” Delegate Peace asserted, “as the representative for the 97th district I will continue to partner with community leaders and government officials to ensure the protection of our citizens. In the end, we are a community of laws and they must be respected.”

During the 2006 General Assembly session Peace co-sponsored legislation proposed by Attorney General McDonnell to dramatically strengthen and overhaul the state’s violent sexual predator laws with: (1) a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years of imprisonment for a first violent sexual offense against a child, (2) mandatory active global positioning system (GPS) tracking upon release for up to life, and (3) mandatory life sentence for the commission of a second offense. Peace is also proud of his long standing efforts to protect children from predators on the internet through filters on public library computers and his support of renaming of the Domestic Violence Victim Fund to Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund.

The social blight of domestic violence has continued to burden America into the 21st Century. Our homes should be places of safety and comfort. Tragically, domestic violence can and does turn many homes into places of torment. The grim facts speak for themselves: almost one-third of American women murdered each year are killed by their current or former partners, usually a husband. Approximately 1 million women annually report being stalked. And many children suffer or witness abuse in their homes, which can sadly spawn legacies of violence in families across the Commonwealth.

Peace goes further to say, “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides us with a special opportunity to emphasize that domestic violence is a crime, to warn abusers that they will be prosecuted, and to offer victims more aid and support. We can and must radically reduce and work to eliminate this scourge from our state. To succeed, this effort must be echoed by officials from every segment of the criminal justice system, Federal, State, and local. Community leaders, health care professionals, teachers, employers, friends, and neighbors all will play an important role in eradicating domestic violence.”

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to represent the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates on January 24, 2006. The 97th District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County. Peace now sits on the prominent House Courts of Justice, Health Welfare and Institutions, and Science and Technology Committees. ###