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Sen. Brown Visits Shelter For Victims Of Domestic Abuse03:00
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U.S. Sen. Scott Brown on Friday revealed more details about two abusive stepfathers as he draws attention to his support for the Violence Against Women Act. He visited a shelter for victims of domestic abuse and later spoke to reporters about the visit.

Sen. Scott Brown and his younger sister, Lee Ann Riley, speak to reporters about growing up with abusive stepfathers. (Fred Thys/WBUR)
Sen. Scott Brown and his younger sister, Lee Ann Riley, speak to reporters about growing up with abusive stepfathers. (Fred Thys/WBUR)

Brown’s younger sister, Lee Ann Riley, lived through that abuse with him when the two were growing up in Wakefield. When she found out that Brown was visiting a shelter, she asked to come along, and accompanied Brown.

The legislation now has a filibuster-proof 60 cosponsors in the Senate, but Brown was one of its earliest supporters, and he is one of only four Republican men to support it. Many Republicans oppose the act because it would grant asylum to illegal immigrants so that they could testify in cases of domestic violence.

“I remember when I was 6 years old, waking up to my mom getting the crap kicked out of her, and I ran in to help her and dove for her ex-husband’s thigh and bit him right here,” Brown said to reporters, “and held on as he was just pounding the crap out of me.”

Brown was asked about accusations that his focus on domestic violence is part of a political strategy to garner women’s votes, as he faces a probable Democratic opponent in Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren.

“They’re humorous, first of all,” Brown replied. “I live in a house full of women, and very strong women, and I was raised by my mom and my grandmother, and I’ve been dealing with these issues long before I got into politics and very supportive of them.”

This program aired on March 23, 2012.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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