The Murders at Virginia Tech

"There are still many unanswered questions about the horrific violence at Virginia Tech," Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler said, "and troubling indications that the shooter had stalked women. The police are still investigating his relationship to the first victim. We aren't doing nearly enough to stop violence against women, which frequently escalates to homicide and involves bystanders and children."

"We need answers about what happened at Virginia Tech," Soler continued. "We need to know whether the shooter had stalked or committed violence in the past, and whether authorities took seriously enough the warning signs that he might pose a danger to himself and others. Whatever the answers, there is no question that we need more research and more prevention, to understand what causes violence against women to occur and to escalate, and to change attitudes."

"The last Congress failed to fund the new programs in the Violence Against Women Act -- campus-based initiatives, support for children who witness abuse, programs to train health care providers to recognize batterers and victims and intervene to help them, and prevention programs aimed at changing attitudes toward women," Soler concluded. "The new Congress must do better. We need full funding for the Violence Against Women Act, and to do much more to stop violence and change attitudes."

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