Mr. Speaker, every day in this land of the free there are some women who live lives of quiet desperation. These women are not free, but are imprisoned in their own homes. Their crime? Being with the wrong person. Their warden is their spouse or their boyfriend. Their sentence? A lifetime of abuse, sexual assault, intimidation, mental turmoil, and even death.

As a judge in Texas, I saw these victims appear in court to tell their compelling, sad stories of their incarceration in their own homes.

This is a family issue. This is a national health issue. This is a public safety issue. And this is a criminal issue. This is an issue that must not go unnoticed by this House. We need to stand beside these victims that are battered, beaten, and bruised. The criminals will be held accountable for their actions. The protections in the Violence Against Women Act need to be reauthorized so women can truly enjoy living in the land of the free.

Mr. Speaker, love should not hurt.