Men can end domestic violence

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com
As the country sees the number of women, children and men who are devastated each year by a horror known as domestic violence rise, people everywhere are banding together to put an end to the tragedy.
Attorney General John Ashcroft announced earlier this week that the Justice Department is sponsoring two public service announcement (PSA) commercials challenging men from all walks of life to help join the fight in eliminating domestic violence.
The 30-second and 15-second PSAs are designed to air during the month of October, commemorating what President Bush has designated as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
"Domestic violence is wrong and destroys the lives of far too many women and children. I'm challenging men across America to take the pledge against domestic violence. We must work together to eliminate the horrific cycle of violence," Ashcroft states in a press release. "This public service announcement demonstrates the Bush Administration's unceasing commitment to keep families safe, hold offenders accountable, and bring communities together in our ongoing efforts to end domestic violence."
The PSA, which features Ashcroft, John Lynch of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, U.S. Air Force Col. Will Gunn and others, is designed to encourage men to pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about domestic violence.
"When domestic violence is ignored, thousands of women and their families' lives are at risk," said Diane M. Stuart, director of the Office on Violence Against Women, a division of the Department of Justice. "Women and their families deserve to live safe and healthy lives, free of violence. We encourage everyone to support his effort."
Ashcroft's challenge came on Wednesday, the same day Bush signed a proclamation declaring the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The president also announced two important initiatives, the Justice Department's family justice center initiative and the Department of Health and Human Services' Safe and Bright Futures for Children initiative. Also on Wednesday, the president announced that the U.S. Postal Service has released a new stamp, the Stop Family Violence Stamp, to help raise money for the prevention of domestic violence.