Republican Representative Tom Reed of New York gave a moving, emotional speech on the House floor on Friday about the "No More" campaign aiming to end sexual assault and domestic violence against women. At one point, the legislator made the issue very, very personal: he discussed a recent sexual assault against his own niece, and passed along her wishes to the House that "no one can make an excuse as to why sexual assault is acceptable. no one should offer an excuse that a woman wanted it."
Here's the rough transcript of Reed's remarks:
Mr. Speaker, I come here today to say "no more" because of something very personal to me. Within the last year, my family experienced firsthand the issues of sexual assault. My beautiful niece, 18 years old, was raped. And we saw that event impact a young life, our family, in a way that I cannot express, Mr. Speaker. I come here today to say, "no more." Last night, I had an opportunity to speak with my niece and I said, if you had an opportunity to address the country and the chamber in the US House of Representatives, what would you say? How would you answer the question, no more because?
Essentially what she said was, "no more because there are no excuses. No one can make an excuse as to why sexual assault is acceptable. No one should offer an excuse that a woman wanted it. That a woman asked for it."
Mr. Speaker, we need to change the culture in our country where we are afraid to talk about this issue. so many women have been impacted . Men across our country have not been taught how to deal with this issue in an open and honest fashion. March 17 through the 21st is an opportunity -- an opportunity for us as nation to say no more. We are going to come together on a national effort and say, sexual violence is not acceptable. Domestic violence is not acceptable. We are going to discuss it openly and amongst our country, fellow countrymen in a way that ultimately will lead to there being no more.
The "No More" campaign is an awareness campaign designed to prompt discussion and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence in the US. As Rep. Reed mentioned earlier in his full remarks, the campaign aims to do for sexual assault prevention what the pink ribbon campaign did for breast cancer awareness and prevention. The campaign has planned a "No More" week of awareness starting on March 17th. You can learn more about it here.
h/t Mike Memoli