June 10, 2009

Rhode Islander Testifies at Senate Hearing on Dangers of Relationship Violence

Whitehouse Recognizes Ann Burke of Saunderstown for Sharing Daughter’s Story

Washington, D.C. – Saunderstown resident Ann Burke, whose daughter Lindsay was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 2005, has made “amazing contributions” to efforts to prevent dating violence in Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said today at a Senate hearing where Burke testified in support of federal legislation to create grant programs for relationship violence education. 

Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke during the hearing to recognize Burke for her courage and thank her for her advocacy.

“For many parents, losing a daughter would have been too large a loss to bear, and the grief overwhelming,” said Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island. “I thank Ann for being here today to tell Lindsay’s story, and to help us understand how to prevent another needless death.”  

Burke, a registered nurse and health educator in South Kingstown Public Schools, founded the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund following the murder of her daughter..  The fund seeks to educate teens, parents, teachers, and the public about the dangers of relationship violence. 

In 2007, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, which requires all school districts in Rhode Island to have a dating violence policy and mandates dating violence education for all students in grades 7-12.  In 2008, Anne Burke partnered with the Liz Claiborne Corporation to launch Moms and Dads for Education (MADE) to Stop Teen Dating Abuse, a national movement of concerned mothers and fathers advocating for healthy teen relationships.


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