The wife of GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is taking on a national crusade against domestic violence, saying she's traveled the country visiting shelters that are "the heart and soul of prevention and intervention."
In an op-ed piece for the Miami Herald
, Columba Bush said her visits over the last several months "inspired me and reaffirmed my commitment to work harder to raise awareness about domestic violence while also increasing resources for survivors and their children."
Citing 2014 Florida Department of Law Enforcement's crime statistics, she decried a 10.2 percent increase in domestic violence in Florida, noting the figure represents "a stunning 20.9 percent of all homicides in our state."
Florida has 42 domestic violence shelters. Columba Bush writes she's partnered on the issue locally with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence for the past 15 years.
"During this time, I learned that our certified domestic violence centers are the heart and soul of prevention and intervention," she writes. "My work in Florida has taught me that the strength of one shelter is a direct result of the unity of all shelters working toward the common goal of ending domestic violence."
Now she's reaching out across the country, she says.
"During the past several months, I have traveled the country touring domestic violence shelters in both large and small states," she writes, spending "hours talking with advocates working in shelters" hearing "about the lack of available resources to provide critical emergency shelter services to survivors and their children."
"Each of these visits inspired me and reaffirmed my commitment to work harder to raise awareness about domestic violence while also increasing resources for survivors and their children," she adds.
She also is calling on people to raise awareness about the issue during October, which has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Bush's husband, Florida's former governor, has been struggling in national polls, and is now running fifth in a Real Clear Politics
average of national surveys, with 8.3 percent support, behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has 9.5 percent.
In the averaging, Donald Trump is holding his lead with 22.8 percent, followed by Dr. Ben Carson, with 17.3 percent and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina with 11 percent.
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