National Domestic Violence Hotline Unveils 10-Year Blueprint to Significantly Reduce Domestic Violence In America

Washington D.C. – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), with support from the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), unveiled today at the White House, a national blueprint to significantly reduce domestic violence by 2017. The Decade for Change Report is a culmination of four months of collective work by corporate, private and government leadership to develop bold ideas and unprecedented initiatives for preventing domestic violence in .

“Despite significant efforts over the past decade to address the problem of domestic violence in our country, 33 million American women continue to experience abuse every year,” said Sheryl Cates, NDVH chief executive officer. “As a society, we can and need to do more to stop the cycle of violence before it starts. The Decade for Change Report provides the unique opportunity to not only develop viable solutions for primary prevention, but importantly, it is the first step in creating a unified national movement to end domestic violence.”

“Collaboration is the key to changing attitudes and strengthening the resolve of individuals to end all abuse of women, youth and men,” said Mary Beth Buchanan, Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women. “OVW is proud to partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to raise awareness about teen dating violence and implement the national blueprint released today.”

More than 120 Summit panelists representing the public and private sectors, faith communities, domestic violence services, youth, state and federal officials, media, education, and medical/mental health professionals participated in a series of three Summit meetings over the course of the last year. The panelists were called on to provide experience and expertise from their respective fields with the ultimate goal of co-creating recommendations to address how various sectors/industries can participate to solve the problem of domestic violence.

“We realized that the challenge of stopping violence is not for women or advocates to solve alone,” continued Cates. “The goal of the Summit was to bring together a representation of all sectors of society to find common ground and bring a collaborative vision to address the issue of violence against women.”

Based on outcomes of the Summit, the Decade for Change Report focuses on four primary thematic areas: public awareness; education and training; organizing men as role models, and primary prevention focusing on ’s youth. The themes do not stand in isolation, but are interdependent in their approach to ending domestic violence. Among the many Report recommendations:

Theme One: Public Awareness

· Shift public opinion and attitudes as well as social norms that say it is okay to tolerate domestic violence to a national consensus that violence against women is unacceptable.

“Creating safe families and communities is something we should all strive to support. The Decade for Change effort creates a voice for those who need to be heard by working to eliminate domestic violence,” said Summit sponsor and panelist, Laysha Ward, vice president, community relations, Target.

Theme Two: Education and Training

· Professional education and training must be integrated into every system, both public and private, including school systems, health care settings; corporate , faith communities and the government.

· New and innovative models should be utilized. Work should be community driven, transformative and linked to certification and professional requirements as part of a universal prevention approach.

“Education can provide an understanding that mass public awareness does not,” said Summit sponsor, Jennifer Kuhn, program manager, The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program. “Through targeted and consistent education, we can increase the individual capacity of family, friends, bystanders and neighbors to understand domestic violence and know how to respond and/or engage appropriate community and corporate resources.”

Decade for Change Report/page three

Theme Three: Outreach and Inclusion of Men

· Focus prevention efforts on men by bringing them into the work as role models and messengers to influence other men. Consider men and boys as an audience for awareness, information and services.

· Engage men by changing the language, and rather than compartmentalizing, create an understanding that all men have a role in preventing and ending domestic violence.

“We need to shape and deliver messages to all males by redefining gender roles and establishing new, positive culturally-sensitive male role models,” said Maury Lane, NDVH advisory board member and Summit panelist. “Simply put, positive male role models, who ignore the problem of domestic violence, ensure the continuation of a vicious cycle that has hurt so many women over so many years.”

Theme Four: Outreach to Youth

· Target primary prevention efforts at youth to affect developing values and opinions about domestic violence.

· Create a national youth advisory board to accommodate the rapidly changing youth culture.

“Despite girls’ empowerment programs and evolving gender roles, these efforts have not translated into healthy relationship expectations and behaviors,” said Summit panelist and sponsor, Lupita Reyes, national program director
Domestic Violence & Healthcare, Verizon Foundation. “Affecting a shift in attitudes among today’s youth can help break generations of unhealthy patterns and stop violence before it begins.”

While domestic violence is perpetrated against men, the Decade for Change Report is framed to address the larger problem of men’s violence against women in intimate relationships and how it impacts families, communities and the country.

“The best solution for our nation’s families is that they never experience violence in the first place,” said Cates. “It is our hope that the Decade for Change Report becomes a call to action to engage new partnerships and raise our collective voices to leave a lasting legacy of safety and respect within all American homes.”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Hotline Launches Million Voices Campaign

In October, NDVH will officially launch the Million Voices Campaign to End Domestic Violence in partnership with the General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC). The two-year long initiative aims to bring together more than 1 million individuals who hope for a country free from domestic violence and want to create change by engaging their communities through volunteerism and public awareness activities.

“The launch of the Million Voices Campaign will address what has long been missing in domestic violence services prevention: an organized national effort driven by dedicated volunteers raising their voices against domestic violence,” said NDVH CEO Sheryl Cates. “Together we will make history and in so doing, we will raise the standard for domestic violence prevention in America.”

The program will launch with a formal reception at the GFWC headquarters in Washington, D.C. on October 9, 2007.

“As a Founding Member, the GFWC is promoting the Million Voices Campaign among our 145,000 members and will encourage a large scale effort of volunteerism on a community basis,” said Jackie Pierce, president of GFWC and an advocate for domestic violence prevention.

Nannette White, chair of the GFWC Domestic Violence Committee, is working with state chairpersons and regional leaders to enroll GFWC members individually in the campaign and volunteer activities.

NDVH urges individuals and organizations to join this unparalleled effort by visiting Members are asked to share their contact information with NDVH and agree that: domestic violence must be stopped in America; they will speak out against domestic violence and tell friends, family and co-workers about the Hotline as a source for help.

The Million Voices Campaign encourages members to educate, inform and raise awareness about domestic violence prevention and services in their communities. Free educational materials and various resources will be provided on the campaign website to help volunteers spread the word. Membership is free, but anyone who wishes to donate to the campaign can do so online.

All members receive an official membership card as well as e-mail news updates and invitations to major campaign events. A major goal of the campaign is to create a sense of community online, where members can share volunteer ideas, strategies to engage local communities and their own personal experiences with domestic violence.

Domestic violence must end in America. The Million Voices Campaign will be the Hotline’s first major initiative to demonstrate that individuals and organizations across the country are committed to seeing that end.


New National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline and Liz Claiborne Inc. announced Thursday the launch of the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NTDAH), a 24-hour national web-based and telephone helpline created to help teens (ages 13-18) experiencing dating abuse during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

“If teens are not turning to their parents for help, it is essential that they have a private outlet where they can discuss their fears with someone who will provide immediate assistance” said Sheryl Cates, chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Texas Council on Family Violence. “This helpline and website were designed exclusively for teens so they can speak to a peer or an adult advocate anonymously and confidentially.”

Teens and parents anywhere in the country can call toll free, 866-331-9474 or log on to the interactive Web site,, and receive immediate, confidential assistance. In addition to a toll-free phone line, will be the first interactive dating abuse website, staffed by trained advocates, where teens can write and immediately get assistance in a one-on-one private chat room.

Liz Claiborne Inc. initiated and funded with a multi year, million dollar grant as part of the Company’s commitment to help end teen dating abuse in this country. The helpline and website will operated by the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

“My boyfriend terrorized me in a number of ways, but one of the most effective was through email. Email became one of his primary methods of control, especially when my parents refused to let us speak on the phone. He wanted to know where I was every second of every day” says Kendrick Sledge, a teen dating abuse survivor. “If there was a teen dating abuse helpline when I was being abused, I might not have stayed in the relationship as long as I did.”

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) is a project of the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas. NDVH provides empowerment-based crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence and their friends and families. The Hotline serves as the only center in the nation with access to more than 5,200 sources of help including 2,000 battered women’s shelters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NDVH and operates 24 hours each day, 365 days every year, in over 150 different languages, with a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing. All calls to NDVH are anonymous.