Dr. Phil McGraw announced today that his 9th season will End the Silence on Domestic Violence. It was the 16th anniversary of the day President Clinton signed the Violence Against Women Act into law, but nobody picked up on this fact ~ including the VAW office at the Department of Justice. On his blog, Dr. Phil explained:
We’re beginning a powerful and very dramatic season-long campaign against domestic violence. . .
When we launched the Dr. Phil show, I told you that I wanted to deal with the silent epidemics in America, and I want to go after this particular epidemic in a very big way. . .
We’re going to be working with schools to create curriculums so that young men in America know, without a shadow of a doubt, that domestic abuse is never OK — and that there are ways to resolve conflict without resorting to physical violence. And, we’re organizing a task force with U.S. Congresspersons and with state legislators: men and women who can create legislation that will empower women to stand up for themselves or give them alternatives to living in an abusive situation.
On top of that, we’re creating a special place on DrPhil.com where you can go for updates and information, and where you can sign up to join this campaign. I’m calling those of you who join us the Silence Breakers. There will be times that you will get an e-mail from me where I say, “Silence Breakers, it is time to make some noise.”
Dr. Phil has invited viewers to sign a pledge to become a “Silence Breaker.” He’s selling T-shirts with the “End the Silence” logo for $20. He claims 100% of the money raised will be donated to the shelter system.
Today’s show featured Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI4), who is an abuse survivor and chief sponsor of H.R. 4116 which reauthorizes the Family Violence and Prevention Services Act. Dr. Phil has asked his viewers to write their congressperson to demand a vote on the bill. Dr. Phil promised Rep. Moore that he would present expert testimony before Congress this fall.
H.R. 4116 currently has 114 cosponsors including a few members of the subcommittee (*) that must approve it before it can move to the House of Representatives for a vote:
- Eleanor Norton (D-DC)
- Judy Biggert (R-IL13)
- Judy Chu (D-CA32)*
- John Conyers (D-MI14)
- Jay Inslee (D-WA1)
- James McDermott (D-WA7)
- Grace Napolitano (D-CA38)
- Todd Russell Platts (R-PA19)* ranking minority leader
- Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH1)*
- Dave Reichert (R-WA8)
- Paul D. Tonko (D-NY21)*
If you are represented in Congress by any of the folks on this list or the other co-sponsors, you should think seriously about contributing to their campaigns or volunteering to help them get re-elected. They have your best interests at heart.
H.R. 4116 is stuck in the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Healthy Familes and Communities. I’m guessing that’s because a substantial number of the members of this subcommittee are notably absent from the list of cosponsors:
- Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) [Chairwoman]: 202-225-5516
- Yvette Clarke (D-NY): 202-225-6231
- Bobby Scott (D-VA): 202-225-8351
- Jared Polis (D-CO): 202-225-2161
- George Miller (D-CA): 202-225-2095
- Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-CA): 202-225-1956
- Brett Guthrie (R-KY): 202-225-3501
- Phil Roe (R-TN): 202-225-6356
- Glenn (GT) Thompson (R-PA): 202-225-5121
If you are being represented in Congress by any of those folks, you might want to question whether they have your best interests at heart before you vote to re-elect them.
Dr. Phil’s producers are looking for domestic violence survivors to be on his show to discuss parental alienation.