Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

    Mr. Speaker, in 2005, Yvette Cade walked into the Maryland courtroom of District Judge Richard Palumbo to extend the restraining order she had on her estranged husband. She was tired of the abuse. She wanted ``an immediate and absolute divorce.''

   Judge Palumbo, however, refused to grant the victim's request, made snide remarks and dismissed the assault case, including the protective order. Two weeks later, Yvette Cade's estranged husband walked into her place of business, doused her with gasoline, struck a match and set her on fire.

   Miraculously, Yvette Cade survived this brutal attack. She received third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body, yet she refused to let her physical injuries silence her voice. She became an outspoken advocate against domestic violence, urging women in abusive relationships to leave. She has appeared on ``Nancy Grace'' and ``Oprah.''

   During this National Crime Victims' Rights Week, we honor remarkable people like Yvette Cade who speak out for victims. Tonight, the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus will award Yvette Cade the Unsung Hero Award for triumphing over her personal tragedy to become a victor rather than a victim.

   And that's just the way it is.