From remarks by Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) in the Senate June 19:

During morning business today eight women in America will confront an attacker. Five women will become victims of rape, almost one in five of whom will live in my home state of California; 228 women will be beaten, the majority by their husbands, boyfriends or ex-spouses. As many as three battered women will die before day's end.

These are not just grim statistics. In every case, there is terrible anguish. There is literally physical pain and suffering, but perhaps it is exceeded even by the psychological trauma that is inflicted.

What restitution will society make for these heinous crimes? Do the victims receive assurance that there will be protection in the future?

For most rapists, a conviction will mean no more than a short term in prison. . . .

We simply cannot call ourselves a civilized society if we do not protect the most vulnerable from the most heinous kind of attack. There are men who batter their wives or girlfriends, and in most cases they go unpunished because their crimes go unreported, however violent, unless they actually murder their victims.

Sadly, this nation has a history of turning the other cheek, of being embarrassed about domestic violence, and until recently we have not done nearly enough about it. Only a handful of states have enacted tough laws to combat this terrible threat. Our response remains inadequate in the face of a frightening escalation of reported domestic violence.