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PRESS RELEASE: UDALL’S WORK TO PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS FOCUS OF LATEST TV AD

Udall stood up for tough anti-stalking laws in New Mexico; helped write the Violence Against Women Act, passed Katie’s Law in the Senate

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Udall campaign’s powerful new TV ad features Karen, a domestic violence survivor, thanking Tom Udall for working throughout his career for tougher laws to prevent domestic violence. As New Mexico’s Attorney General and now as U.S. Senator, Udall has worked to strengthen anti-stalking and anti-domestic violence laws, to prevent violence against women in New Mexico.

The ad, titled “Find Help,” runs 30 seconds, and is narrated by a woman who tells her experience with domestic violence and the strength it took to find help.

“It started after we had our son. My husband would go into a rage, and hurt me. And then be sorry. And then do it all over again,” the woman, Karen, says in the ad. “I finally found the courage to leave, to protect my son.”

“I’m so grateful for Senator Udall’s anti-stalking law, and his work to pass the Violence Against Women Act,” Karen continues. “He’s a good man, and I know the difference.”

In the Senate, Udall helped lead the effort to update the Violence Against Women Act, working to close a jurisdictional loophole that had blocked police from prosecuting domestic violence offenses committed against Native women by non-Natives on reservations. The updated law includes a new set of provisions granting tribal courts jurisdiction to prosecute such cases. As Udall said, Native women “should not be abandoned to a jurisdictional loophole.”

Udall began his work as New Mexico Attorney General, when he and a coalition of advocates for domestic violence victims led a campaign to strengthen New Mexico’s anti-stalking laws, which were difficult to prosecute and a poor deterrent to perpetrators. The new law made a second conviction a felony, requiring immediate law enforcement intervention before the behavior could escalate into violence.

Udall also introduced and passed “Katie’s Law” in 2013. Named for Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University graduate student who was brutally raped and murdered in 2003, the law gives police new tools to track DNA from repeat offenders.

“Too many New Mexico women will face violence at home or by someone they know. Tom Udall has been working across party lines to strengthen laws and give police new tools to prevent offenders from being able to repeat acts of violence – and to make sure those women can find help,” said Campaign Manager Daniel Sena. “We’re so proud of Karen for having the strength to share her story, and we’re grateful for her support.”

Watch the new television ad HERE.

Transcript of “FIND HELP” running 30 seconds: “It started after we had our son. My husband would go into a rage and hurt me. And then be sorry. And then do it all over again. And again, and again. I finally found the courage to leave, to protect my son. I’m so grateful for Senator Udall’s anti-stalking law. And his work to pass the Violence Against Women Act. He’s a good man, and I know the difference. [Tom Udall voiceover] I’m Tom Udall, and I approved this message so women in danger can find help.”

 

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTATION

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS A SERIOUS ISSUE FACING YOUNG WOMEN TODAY

1 In 5 Teenage Girls Will Be Threatened By A Teenage Boyfriend. According to a study funded by Liz Claiborne Inc., and conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, “Nearly one in five teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up.” [Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005]

1 In 4 Women Will Be Severely Assaulted By An Intimate Partner. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control’s Division of Violence Prevention published a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. In the study, the CDC found: “Approximately 1 in 4 women in the United States (24.3%) has experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime, translating to nearly 29 million women. An estimated 17.2% of women have been slammed against something by a partner, 14.2% have been hit with a fist or something hard, and 11.2% reported that they have been beaten by an intimate partner in their lifetime. An estimated 2.7%, or approximately 3.2 million women, reported experiencing severe physical violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.” [National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 (page 43)]

1 In 3 Women Will Suffer Some Form Of Violence From An Intimate Partner. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control’s Division of Violence Prevention published a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. In the study, the CDC found: “Nearly 1 in 3 women (30.3%) in the United States has been slapped, pushed or shoved by an intimate partner at some point in her lifetime. This translates to approxi¬mately 36.2 million women in the United States. An estimated 3.6%, or approximately 4.3 million women, reported experiencing these behav¬iors in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.” [National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 (page 43)]

AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, TOM UDALL WORKED TO PASS A TOUGH ANTI-STALKING LAW

November 1996: Tom Udall Presented A Proposal For A Tougher Anti-Stalking Law. In November of 1996, the Albuquerque Journal reported that a coalition of advocates for domestic violence victims, including Attorney General Tom Udall, proposed a set of changes to existing state laws on stalking. The Journal reported, “Under current laws, stalking is a misdemeanor until the third conviction, according to Attorney General Tom Udall, who presented the proposal. The new law would make a second conviction a felony and would require the stalker to complete a counseling program. It would also create the crime of aggravated stalking, which would automatically be a fourth-degree felony the first time and a third-degree felony the second and subsequent convictions.” [Albuquerque Journal, 11/26/1996]

Udall On Anti-Stalking Proposal: “Two Strikes And You Are Out. No Excuses. You Go Directly To Jail.” In November of 1996, the Albuquerque Journal reported that Attorney General Tom Udall proposed a tougher set of laws against stalking. According to the Tribune: “Udall said the current stalking law is ‘difficult to prosecute and a poor deterrent to perpetrators.’ The new law would make the second stalking offense a felony instead of a misdemeanor. ‘Two strikes and you are out. No excuses. You go directly to jail,’ Udall said. ‘By providing immediate law enforcement intervention before the stalking behavior escalates into violence, I am convinced that this new law will prevent other tragedies, like the Zamora tragedy, from happening.’” [Albuquerque Tribune, 11/26/1996]

Udall’s 1997 Legislative Agenda Took On Stalkers, Drunk Drivers, and Early Release. “Attorney General Tom Udall’s legislative crime-fighting package focuses on stalkers, drunken drivers and convicts who get out of prison early. Udall, speaking to some of the state’s top law enforcement officials Wednesday, said the crime package is aimed specifically at reducing violence. A key proposal in Udall’s legislative package: allowing New Mexico to confine ‘sexual predators’ in mental institutions when a judge finds the offender is likely to repeat acts of sexual violence, even if the offender has already served his criminal sentence.” [Albuquerque Tribune, 12/12/1996]

HEADLINE: Udall Focuses On Reducing Violence [Albuquerque Tribune, 12/12/1996]

Udall’s Anti-Stalking Proposal Was Introduced As HB211 And Was Signed Into Law In March Of 1997. In the 1997 legislative session, Representative Raymond Sanchez introduced HB 211, an act “changing the elements of the offense of criminal stalking,” and “creating the criminal offense of aggravated stalking.” This bill was passed by the New Mexico House and Senate in March of 1997 and signed by the Governor on March 17, 1997. [New Mexico Legislature 1997 Regular Session HB 211]

AS NEW MEXICO’S SENATOR, TOM UDALL FOUGHT TO STRENGTHEN THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

Tom Udall Voted To Increase Funds For Violence Against Women Prevention. In 2007, Udall voted in favor of an amendment to increase funding to protect women from domestic violence. The amendment provided an additional $5 million in the fiscal year 2008 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill for the Office on Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs. The funding increase was offset by a reduction of the same amount for the Commerce Department’s management salaries and expenses account. The amendment passed 405-25 [House Vote #732, 7/25/2007; Congressional Quarterly]

Tom Udall Helped Pass Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization With Protections For Native Women. On January 23, 2013, Tom Udall cosponsored S. 47, A bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This bill reauthorized a series of programs to support victims of domestic violence. According to the New York Times, a major obstacle to the bill’s passage in the House was a set of provisions backed by Tom Udall granting tribal courts jurisdiction to prosecute domestic violence offenses committed against native women by non-natives on reservations. “Native women should not be abandoned to a jurisdictional loophole,” said Udall, who backed similar provisions in stand-alone legislation in the previous congress. The bill, including the tribal provisions, was signed into law on March 7, 2013. [New York Times, 2/10/2013; 113th Congress, S.47; CNN, 2/28/2013]

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