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(Washington, D.C.) - Today Senator Patty Murray spoke to advocates in the fight against domestic violence at a breakfast in the U.S. Capitol building.

Murray's remarks follow:

Thank you for that great introduction, Lynn [Lynn Rosenthal, Executive Director, National Network to End Domestic Violence ]

Good morning. It’s great to have you here in the U.S. Capitol.

I know some of you have traveled a long way, and I want to offer a special welcome to my friends from Washington state, including Grace Huang of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The truth is that we need you here to get Congress to fully-fund the domestic violence programs.

You provide the services, you are the voice for so many women who can’t come here to the Capitol, and Congress needs to hear from you today.

So when you meet with your elected members today, don’t hold back and don’t take no for an answer.

That spirit helped us pass VAWA almost 10 years ago and has helped us make a lot of progress.

But these days, budgets are tight at the state and local levels.

I know many of you are feeling the impact of reduced funding from the local government.

The needs are growing at the local level, but local and state funding are threatened as states face massive budget deficits.

I believe the federal government must do its part by fully-funding VAWA.

It’s the right thing to do, and it’s so important given all the pressures on our shelters and service providers these days.

Let me give you just one example of the need in Washington state.

Last year, one of our largest shelter service providers in Seattle had to turn away 3,659 individuals.

That’s more than 3,600 women and children who were forced back into a violent home or onto the streets. This is just unacceptable.

In Congress it can be difficult to give a statistic like that meaning, and that’s why we need you here today.

You can put a face on those statistics. You can explain the impact it has on women and children, and Members need to hear it from you.

We know that 1out of every 4 American women will experience violence by an intimate partner during her lifetime.

Of those women -- 40 to 50 percent are physically injured - resulting in more than 200,000 emergency room visits each year.

You can help tell the stories of those women here in Congress.

Your stories and advocacy can help Congress make a real commitment to fully-fund VAWA.

We need more resources for STOP grants, Grants to Encourage Arrests, Campus Violence Grants, Supervised Visitation Centers, and Education & Training Grants for Judges & Court Personnel.

We must also make a greater effort to support key social services like Battered Women Shelters, and transitional housing.

And finally, we can never forget the children who get caught in the crossfire.

This was a fight that my late friend Paul Wellstone and his wife Sheila were such strong leaders on. We certainly miss them, and today I’m even more committed to carrying on that fight for all the children who witness this violence and live in fear everyday.

So in closing, I recognize the pressure and the challenges each of you face every day. know the demands far exceed the resources, but I’m committed to fully-funding VAWA, and your stories and your advocacy today will make a difference.

So thank you for being here today. Thank you for your tireless work in your communities. Together, we can end domestic violence and provide the support that victims and their children deserve.