Unlike many of the visits by Democrats to Texas over the last few months, Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Austin was not met with criticism from Texas Republicans, instead he was thanked by Attorney General Greg Abbott.
In a statement, Abbott wrote:
"I would like to thank Vice President Joe Biden for remembering Texas women during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month."
Biden came to Austin to announce additional funding from the federal government and a donation from Verizon Wireless that will enable more people to seek help during domestic violence situations.
The online chat and text service for the National Domestic Violence Center provides another outlet for women who are unable to speak over the phone about abuse.
"They are prisoners in plain sight," Biden said. "How many calls have they received here where a woman has whispered on the phone, 'I can’t speak too loudly. I’m locked in my house and husband literally sits on the front porch with a shotgun.'?"
Biden said 55,000 calls to the hotline every year drop off because they are put on hold.
"This is going to make a big difference in lives of a lot of women, like the hotline has done for many years now," Biden said. "One woman chatted on the hotline a few weeks, got information on how to set up her own bank account and made plans to leave her abusive husband."
The National Domestic Violence Service Center gets 70 percent of its funding from the federal government. The other 30 percent is made up from private businesses who also helped build the chat-text service.
The additional $250,000 the program received this week will allow women to connect with advocates through the chat room on the National Domestic Hotline’s website -- www.thehotline.org -- and text service on any mobile phone on a permanent basis.
In Biden’s closing remark, he likened what soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder to what women go through after the abuse has ended, saying there so much more that still needs to be done.