September 19, 2018 Media


(Downers Grove, IL) September 19, 2018 –  With the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) authorization set to expire on September 30th and an agreement by Congressional Republicans to extend it only until December 7th, 6th District Congressional Candidate Sean Casten joined anti-violence advocates, law enforcement officials, and medical professionals to discuss the importance of VAWA-funded programs and ways we can all work together to combat sexual and domestic violence. The discussion was held following a tour of Family Shelter Service facility.

“With VAWA authorization set to expire at the end of the month and Congressional Republicans promising only a short-term extension, I wanted to learn about how VAWA funds are used in the real world,” said Casten. “I wish places like Family Shelter Service weren’t necessary, but if the people of Illinois 6th District see fit to send me to Congress, I promise to fight for VAWA funding so that all of the groups our panelists represent can continue to do their important work”

“We need to see a shift from ‘why do people stay?’ [in abusive relationships] to ‘why do people hurt the people they love?’” said panelist Amy Milligan, Director of Safer Communities at Family Shelter Service.

The discussion lasted an hour and ranged from the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of abusers to ways we can prevent sexual and domestic violence in the first place.

Peter Roskam has been claiming he supports VAWA funding, but in reality he voted against it and recently he refused to sign on to a letter with 46 of his Republican colleagues calling on Speaker Paul Ryan to bring the bill to reauthorize the program to a vote.

The panel was made up of Sean Casten, 6th District Congressional Candidate; Amy Milligan, Family Shelter Service;  Dr. Janet Lin, President, Illinois College of Emergency Physicians; Gianna Trombino, Victim Advocate, Naperville Police Department; Colleen Zavodny, Activist Anti-Violence Movement; and Brad Marsh, Naperville Police Department.