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Rep. Burton Recalls Violent Childhood In Advocating Bill Combating Domestic Violence

Jim Nix

Legislation doubling state funding for domestic violence prevention cleared its first hurdle Wednesday. 

Proposed legislation would provide $5 million a year in the next two-year state budget for domestic violence prevention and treatment programs. 

After a change in committee, the bill would also provide one million a year to help sexual assault victims. 

Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) provided emotional testimony in committee about his own experience with domestic violence – his father threatened and abused his mother when Burton was a small child. 

He stresses the need for more money and more attention on the issue, in part, he says, to help people overcome the unfair stigma sometimes associated with domestic violence.

“I’m not ashamed of what happened to me.  I’m proud of the fact that I survived it," Burton says.  "I’m proud my brother and sister did.  I’m ashamed of him and what he stood for.”

A House committee unanimously approved the bill.  It now goes to the Ways and Means committee for approval because of its financial impact. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.