Armed with a chilling set of statistics on the increase in violent crime against women, President Clinton on Tuesday named the first director of a new Justice Department office to combat these crimes. He also announced an initial $26 million in grants to states for programs to protect women.
Bonnie Campbell, former Iowa attorney general and losing Democratic candidate for governor there in November, was named to head the Violence Against Women office, which was authorized under the 1994 crime bill.
In connection with the event, the White House released statistics showing that rape rates have risen nearly three times faster than the total crime rate over the past 10 years, that at least 3 million women are victims of domestic violence every year and that nearly a third of American women who die each year are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
Noting that violence has become the No. 1 health risk for women between the ages of 14 and 44, Clinton said, “It’s a bigger threat than cancer or car accidents.”