|00:00:00||SIMPLY CLARIFIES THAT THE PRESERVATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY TO PROTECT THE VICTIM'S IDENTIFY TO AVOID RETALIATION AND LOSS OF LIFE SHOULD NOT BE WEAKENED AS COMPARED TO CURRENT LAW.|
|00:00:16||WE HAVE DEBATED THE NEED TO EXPAND THIS BILL BEYOND WHAT THE AUTHOR HAS PUT IN AND WE'VE LOST THAT DEBATE.|
|00:00:25||BECAUSE THE RULES COMMITTEE HAS PUT FORTH A CLOSED RULE AND WE DO NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THE SENATE VERSION OF THE BILL, WHICH PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY IN THE SENATE 68-31.|
|00:00:41||AND SO WE HAVE LOST THAT BATTLE FOR THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT TO INCLUDE ALL WOMEN.|
|00:00:47||BUT IN THIS MOTION WE ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO RE-ESTABLISH ONE LITTLE SLIVER, ONE LITTLE PIECE IN THIS BILL THAT WE'RE HOPING THAT THE MAJORITY WILL RECOGNIZE WILL GREATLY ENHANCE THE SAFETY OF ALL WOMEN.|
|00:01:07||THIS MOTION SIMPLY PROTECTS THE VICTIM'S IDENTITY TO AVOID RETALIATION AND EVEN THE LOSS OF LIFE AND MAKE SURES NOT WEAKENED AS COMPARED TO CURRENT LAW.|
|00:01:18||NOW WE'RE GOING TO BE TOLD THAT THE MANAGER'S AMENDMENT DOES THAT.|
|00:01:21||BUT IT DOES NOT.|
|00:01:24||UNDER CURRENT LAW ABUSED WOMEN ARE ABLE TO SEEK HELP AND COME FORWARD TO AUTHORITIES UNDER THE CONDITION OF CONFIDENTIALITY.|
|00:01:37||R. 4970 AS AMENDED DOES MANY THINGS, A COUPLE OF THINGS, FOR EXAMPLE IT DELAYS THE PROTECTION FOR BATTERED VICTIMS BY STAYING AJUDEFICATIONS BEFORE PEANDING INVESTIGATIONS OR PROSECUTIONS ARE COMPLETED.|
|00:01:55||IT CREATES A NEGATIVE SBINCHES AGAINST THE VICTIM IN -- INFENCHES AGAINST THE VICTIM IF LAW ENFORCEMENT DID NOT OPEN A FORMAL INVESTIGATION.|
|00:02:06||IT CREATES A NEGATIVE INFERENCE.|
|00:02:10||I CAN TELL THAT YOU NO WITH STANDING THE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF ABUSERS CURRENT LAW PROVIDES A VERY DELICATE BALANCE BETWEEN THE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF ABUSERS AND THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THOSE ACCUSERS.|
|00:02:30||THE FACT THAT THE BILL WAS AMENDED IN THIS WAY RESTIMULATES ME TO REMEMBER AN INCIDENT IN MY OWN LIFE WHERE THE BALANCE OF RIGHTS WAS TIPPED IN FAVOR OF THE ABUSER.|
|00:02:47||I'M REMINDED OF A TIME THAT I GOT INTO AN AUTOMOBILE -- A MAN I THOUGHT WAS A PERSONAL FRIEND, TO THE SOME FRIED CHICKEN AND HE PULLED IN BEHIND SOME VACANT BUILDINGS, RAPED ME, CHOKED ME, ALMOST TO DEATH, AND WHEN I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL I WAS ENCOURAGED BY AN ADVOCATE, THIS WAS IN 1970'S, LONG BEFORE THERE WAS A VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT, LONG BEFORE THERE WAS A RAPE SHIELD ACT, AND I TOOK HIM TO COURT AND INDEED I WAS ON TRIAL.|
|00:03:24||BECAUSE THIS BILL, JUST LIKE WHAT I EXPERIENCED, WAS WHERE I HAD TO PROVE AS A VICTIM THAT I WAS NOT BEING FRAUDULENT IN MY ACCUSATIONS.|
|00:03:35||OH, THEY BROUGHT UP HOW I WAS AN UNWED MOTHER WITH A BABY, MAYBE I SEDUCED HIM.|
|00:03:40||THEY TALKED ABOUT HOW I WAS DRESSED AND THEY CARRIED ME THROUGH ALL KINDS OF BREWER CONTRACTIC HOOPS AND CHANGES AND ULTIMATELY HE WAS FOUND TO BE NOT GUILTY.|
|00:03:51||ALTHOUGH I HAD DONE EVERYTHING THAT I WAS TOLD TO DO IN TERMS OF PROSECUTING THIS.|
|00:03:56||I CANNOT STRESS THE SOLEMN NATURE OF THIS ISSUE.|
|00:04:01||YOU KNOW, IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT SHE HAD THE CELL PHONE IN HER HAND BUT SHE LOST HER LIFE BECAUSE SHE COULDN'T ESCAPE THIS MAN.|
|00:04:14||IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT SHE WAS SHOT FOUR TIMES BEHIND THE POLICE STATION.|
|00:04:21||BECAUSE THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME FOR A WOMAN IS WHEN SHE IS TRYING TO ESCAPE HER PERPETRATOR, WHEN SHE'S TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.|
|00:04:31||SHE'S TRYING TO TURN HER LIFE, HERS AND HER CHILDREN AROUND.|
|00:04:35||AND WHEN THE PERPETRATOR IS GIVEN THE TOOLS THAT THIS BILL GIVES HIM, TO HAVE ABUSERS' RIGHTS PREVAIL OVER THE RIGHTS OF THE VICTIM, SHE WILL HAVE THE CELL PHONE IN HER HAND BUT SHE WILL LOSE HER LIFE ANYWAY.|
|00:04:55||BECAUSE SHE CANNOT ESCAPE THIS MAN.|
|00:04:58||THE MANAGER'S AMENDMENT DOES NOT FIX THIS, WE HAVE HEARD FROM 325 GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO OPPOSE THIS BILL AND SAY THE MANAGER'S AMENDMENT DOES NOT FIX IT.|
|00:05:15||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEWOMAN'S TIME HAS EXPIRED.|
|00:05:17||MS. MOORE: I THANK THE SPEAKER FOR HER INDULGENCE AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT MY AMENDMENT.|
Ms. MOORE. Madam Speaker, this motion to recommit simply clarifies that the preservation of confidentiality to protect the victims' identity to avoid retaliation and even loss of life shall not be weakened as compared to current law.
[Time: 16:50] We have debated the need to expand this bill beyond what the author has put in. We have lost that debate because the Rules Committee has put forth a closed rule, and we do not have the opportunity to present the Senate version of the bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the Senate 68 31. So we have lost that battle for the Violence Against Women Act to include all women.
In this motion, we are simply trying to reestablish one little sliver--one little piece--in this bill that we are hoping the majority will recognize will greatly enhance the safety of all women. This motion simply protects the victim's identity to avoid retaliation and even the loss of life, and it makes sure it is not weakened as compared to current law. Now, we are going to be told that the manager's amendment does that, but it does not.
Under current law, abused women are able to seek help and come forward to authorities under the condition of confidentiality; but H.R. 4970, as amended, does a couple of things. For example, it delays the protection of battered victims by staying adjudications before pending investigations or prosecutions are completed. It creates a negative inference against the victim if law enforcement does not open a formal investigation or if prosecutors fail to prosecute the perpetrator. I can tell you that, notwithstanding the due process rights of abusers, current law provides a very delicate balance between the due process rights of abusers and the confidentiality of those accusers.
The fact that the bill was amended in this way restimulates me to remember [Page: H2780] an incident in my own life when the balance of rights was tipped in favor of the abuser. I am reminded of a time when I got into an automobile, with a man whom I thought to be a personal friend, to go get some fried chicken. He pulled in behind some vacant buildings, and he raped me and choked me almost to death. When I went to the hospital, I was encouraged by an advocate--this was in the 1970s, long before there was a Violence Against Women Act, long before there was a Rape Shield Act--to take him to court.
Indeed, I was on trial because, like this bill--and just like what I experienced--I had to prove as a victim that I was not being fraudulent in my accusations. Oh, they brought up how I was an unwed mother with a baby. Maybe I seduced him. They talked about how I was dressed, and they carried me through all kinds of bureaucratic hoops. Ultimately, he was found to be not guilty; although, I had done everything that I was told to do in terms of prosecuting this. I cannot stress the solemn nature of this issue.
It doesn't surprise me that she had the cell phone in her hand but that she lost her life because she couldn't escape this man. It doesn't surprise me that she was shot four times behind the police station. The most dangerous time for a woman is when she is trying to escape her perpetrator, when she is trying to do something about it, when she is trying to turn her life around, hers and her children's.
When the perpetrator is given the tools that this bill gives him to have an abuser's rights prevail over the rights of the victim's, she will have the cell phone in her hand, but she will lose her life anyway because she cannot escape this man. The manager's amendment does not fix this. We have heard from 325 groups and organizations that oppose this bill and say that the manager's amendment does not fix it, so I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.