Giffords and Kelly speak at domestic violence event

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Arizona Foundation For Women spent Monday putting a face on domestic violence.

Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly received a warm welcome at the lunch event. The pair is responsible for the political action committee called Americans for Responsible Solutions.

“Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women,” Giffords said in an unwavering voice. “Criminals with guns, abusers with guns, stalkers with guns make gun violence an issue.”

Giffords spoke for about a minute. She is still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head in January 2011. She suffers from partial paralysis and it is difficult for her to process speech. She and Kelly have spent much of this month connecting gun violence to women's issues leading up to the mid-term election.

“Why is it in this country today that if you're charged with felony stalking and you plead it down to a misdemeanor, you can still buy a gun?” Kelly asked the crowd.

We met Bobbi Sudberry at the event. She is a mother all too familiar with issues of domestic violence.

“Every time I dialed Kaity's number and couldn't get an answer,” Sudberry said. "I became more and more afraid.”

That was 2008, when her daughter Kaity had been trying to avoid a jealous and controlling boyfriend. He had assaulted her and been expelled.  But he followed her home one day and shot and killed her and then himself.

Through their foundation, Kaity’s Way, Sudberry and her family will tell anyone, especially young people, Kaity’s story.

“Therapeutically, speaking about it helped us by helping others,” she said.

Sudberry also worked with lawmakers to get protective orders and other legal protections extended to dating couples in Arizona.