Salem, OR (October 5th, 2016) - Today in a broadcast on Facebook live, Bud Pierce made an address directly to the Oregon people:
"At the Gubernatorial debate, on Sept 30th in Portland Oregon, I stated that individuals could prevent themselves from being victims of domestic violence by achieving a good economic status. This is wrong, as domestic violence occurs in all economic groups. I apologize for this ignorant and potentially dangerous statement. I especially wish to apologize to all of the victims of domestic violence, upon whom my statement may have brought back the painful memories of their abuse, and the reality that many in our society do not understand their plight.
Until this event, I had very little experience with domestic violence. There was no domestic violence in the family that I grew up in, and my wife Selma has told me that her family experienced no domestic violence. The family that we have created over the past 35 years has not experienced domestic violence. I have been a supporter of a local women’s shelter and child abuse center, and have attended fundraisers, many of which have included a very sad story of abuse by an abuse survivor. I would listen, help raise additional money, but never engaged beyond this level.
Over the past days I have reflected about domestic violence, have done a good deal of reading, and I have been communicating online with some individuals who have reached out to help me. Underlying domestic violence is the belief that abuse is acceptable. Among the factors that increase the risk of abuse include alcohol and drug abuse, untreated mental illness, unemployment, and excessive dependence upon the abuser. The recent “Count Her In 2016 Status Report of Women” reported that up to 50% of Oregon women, an astounding one million Oregon women, have been the victims of domestic violence. What can be done?
First, we must use the structures of our culture to change the belief that violence is acceptable. This teaching is best done in our families, schools, community organizations, athletic clubs, religious institutions, and places of work. There should be a formal teaching effort, possibly organized through our Public Health Organizations. It is important that our civic leaders learn about and talk about this important issue. We can improve our culture if we are committed to doing so.
Our socioeconomic efforts must be focused on affording the dignity of work to all of our citizens. This must include preparing individuals for work by effectively treating drug and alcohol dependence and mental illness, and by having good jobs available for our citizens.
Places of refuge from domestic violence must be easy to access, and victims of domestic violence must be treated with utmost respect. Shelters and places of refuge must be supported by strong public and private collaboration. We must strengthen our laws to hold accountable those who commit domestic violence, with effective programs of punishment and rehabilitation.
My eyes have been opened, and I join the battle against domestic violence."
Watch the public statement video below: