Congressman Hastings made the following statement on the House floor April 8, 2011 recognizing the work of Ms. Shari B. Kaplan for her extraordinary efforts in abuse treatment for children and adults:

M. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Ms. Shari B. Kaplan for her extraordinary efforts in abuse treatment for children and adults. She has worked tirelessly through her 'Can't Tell Foundation' to give hope to victims of domestic and sexual abuse and children who are plagued by bullying. Her foundation has been a pioneer in treatment for victims and relies on several methods to allow victims to cope. Such practices include self-defense, music and movement, Qi Gong and yoga, nutrition, mentoring, improvisational work, meditation, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy and support.

Ms. Kaplan herself was a victim of bullying and has experienced the personal pain of abuse with her closest family. She was in a horrific bike crash when she was young that left her with physical injuries that ultimately lead to bullying when she was in school. Additionally, her children were victims of abuse at the hands of her nanny's 13 year old son. Using the wisdom she gained from her own pain and experience in helping her children cope, she went on to help others deal with their pain and create prevention policies against abuse in all its forms. Her more recent goal is to raise 6.5 million dollars to help build a treatment facility in Boca Raton, Florida.

Abuse and bullying has become an epidemic in this country. Suicide is the second major cause of death in teens and young adults ages 13-24. In addition, government statistics show that 32 percent of 12 to 18 years old say they have been bullied.

M. Speaker, I am proud to recognize and stand with a woman who has decided to stand up against abuse and bullying. Ms. Shari B. Kaplan has truly dedicated herself to this important cause and I wish to give her my full support.

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