2008 Vital Link Award

Austin, Texas—November 13, 2008 — At the end of October, the National Domestic Violence Hotline held its annual Vital Links Awards in New York to honor individuals and organizations which have significantly contributed to building awareness of family violence prevention services. Honorees have courageously spoken out against domestic violence and in support of survivors and their families.

Fox News Channel Fox & Friends Co-Anchor Gretchen Carlson was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Sponsors for the event included Platinum sponsors Verizon, FedEx and CTIA The Wireless Foundation, Gold sponsors Liz Claiborne, Red Media Group, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs with all of its contributing organizations, and Silver sponsors Kaiser Permanente, Lifetime Networks and Burson Marsteller.  Other contributors included New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC, GFWC Federation Guild Association, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher, Gap, Inc. and Richard Pizutto Events Management.

Awards and recipients included:

  • Voices for Change Award to S. Epatha Merkerson, who portrays Lieutenant Anita Van Buren of NBC’s award-winning series Law and Order.
  • Vital Link Award to the Verizon Foundation for its generosity and support, on a local and national level of domestic violence education, prevention and victim empowerment programs.
  • Special Tribute for Lifetime Achievement to Linda Fairstein, best-selling author of crime novels, and one of the country’s leading legal experts on crimes of violence, having served for 25 years as the Bureau Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Special Tribute for Advocacy and Social Change to Victor Rivas Rivers, who speaks out on the effects of domestic violence on behalf of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and is the author of a personal memoir, a Private Family Matter. In his book, Victor writes bravely and honestly about what it is like to grow up in a home dominated by domestic violence.  In addition to his national speaking engagements, Victor is a regular in the NBC hit series Life.
  • Media for Change Award to Seventeen Magazine for leading the national conversation about healthy dating and dating abuse, and  its support of, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.
  • Media for Change Award to MySpace for its partnership with loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline which provided advertising to promote the Helpline to teens.
  • Volunteers for Change to Jacquelyn Pierce and Nannette White of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) which took on Domestic Violence awareness and prevention as it special  project for 2006-2008. Under the leadership of then-International President Jacquelyn Pierce and Chair Nannette White, the GFWC contributed more than $15.9 million to domestic violence awareness and prevention projects throughout the United States. To celebrate receipt of the award, 37 members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs were in attendance. These 37 club members were from 13 states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Commemorates a Landmark 2 Millionth Call

Austin, Texas— October 21, 2008—The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott  have scheduled joint Austin and San Antonio press conferences today, Tuesday, October 21, to announce and commemorate the answering of the Two Millionth Call by NDVH. The Austin press conference will take place at 10:00 a.m. at NDVH offices and the San Antonio event at 1:50  p.m. at The San Antonio Airport Hilton, 611 NW Loop 410. Sheryl Cates, Chief Executive Officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) will join Attorney General Greg Abbott.

“The Hotline has proved to be a critical lifeline to many individuals across the country, positively impacting millions of our fellow citizens and saving countless lives,” stated Cates. “The current challenging economic conditions and resulting impact on organizations like NDVH, makes the strong support of the Attorney General and our friends that much more important and appreciated.”

“Today we observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month by recognizing the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s life-saving efforts,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Thanks to NDVH’s trained victim advocates, domestic violence victims receive crucial safety planning information and crisis intervention that help them leave abusive relationships and rebuild their lives. The Office of the Attorney General and the Texas Council on Family Violence are committed to an ongoing partnership that serves crime victims and works tirelessly to prevent domestic violence.”

Josie, a domestic violence survivor who now answers Hotline calls, reaffirmed the immense value of Hotline services to individuals in crisis when she said, “They’ve lost all hope, and they call the Hotline. Whether it is the first call for help or the last call, they don’t know where else to go.”

The Two Millionth Call milestone was reached by NDVH this month with the 1 Millionth call received in August, 2003. This significant landmark represents two million families that have received help and hope since the Hotline’s inception in 1996 under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). The Hotline received over 230,000 calls in 2007 with its monthly call volume averaging over 19,500 calls. Calls to NDVH have climbed steadily in 2008 and some months have seen a 10% to 15% increase over the same period the previous year.

Attorney General Abbott has long supported efforts to prevent and eliminate domestic violence and has been an ardent advocate for Texas children and families. The Office of the Attorney General previously collaborated with TCFV and NDVH in launching the Break the Silence-Make the Call, a statewide domestic violence public awareness campaign.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. Additional information on the Hotline may be obtained online at or by calling 1.800.799.7233.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Hotline Answers Two Millionth Call

On September 30th, the National Domestic Violence Hotline answered its two millionth call.  This milestone represents two million families that have received help and hope since the Hotline’s inception in 1996. This call came as the need for the Hotline continues to grow.  During 2008, the call volume for the Hotline has increased by approximately 1,000 more calls per month.

The Hotline received over 230,000 calls in 2007 with its monthly call volume averaging over 19,500 calls. As the number of calls have climbed steadily in 2008, some months have seen a 10% to 15% increase over the same months the previous year. Answering this increased volume of calls places significant strain on the Hotline’s resources. Unfortunately, this results in a longer wait time for callers needing to get to safety, and a increased number of callers hanging up, both of which can be dangerous in violent situations. To address this issue the Hotline has increased volunteer recruitment for advocates.

More Information


Million Voices Campaign Members Contribute in Local Communities

The Million Voices Campaign to End Domestic Violence in America signed up more than 13,000 members who are working in their local communities to educate, inform, and raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence and sources of help. Community commitment is a key factor to ending the pervasive cycle of domestic violence, and these passionate citizens are working to mobilize their communities into action.

Activities undertaken by Million Voices Campaign members are as diverse as the communities they represent. Every action, big or small, creates awareness and encourages dialogue.

Great Actions And Good Ideas

One group held a statewide poster competition about ending domestic violence and the Million Voices Campaign. The posters were then displayed on the sidewalk surrounding the state capitol.
Another group hosted a seminar about Hollywood’s glorification of stalking.
Members have displayed Hotline posters in local court buildings to inform victims of their options.
Campaign members across the country are organizing charity walks in honor of lost loved ones.

As membership in the Million Voice Campaign grows, so will the impact that individual campaign members have in their local communities. The collective voice of campaign members is growing as well. Thousands of citizens speaking with one voice have the potential to transform the culture that we live in.  The Million Voices Campaign, through local action and a united national voice, is creating change in our communities and across America. We urge you to join this unparalleled effort by visiting Membership is free.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

New Members Join NDVH National Advisory Board

The NDVH National Advisory Board (NAB) welcomes two new members who are joining the board in October 2008. The NAB consists of prominent national leaders who are committed to raising awareness and the resources necessary to ensure that the Hotline’s lifesaving work continues.

Jacquelyn Pierce
2006­—2008 General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) International President

Under Jacquelyn’s leadership, GFWC members gave over 15.9 million dollars in projects and programs to promote the awareness and prevention of domestic violence. GFWC is a founding and dedicated member of NDVH’s “Million Voices Campaign Against Domestic Violence in America” and instrumental in signing up over 10,000 campaign members.

Trish Rodgriguez
General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC)

Trish is a member of the GFWC national Domestic Violence Committee and plays a pivotal role in managing GFWC’s domestic violence prevention projects and programs conducted by over 100,000 members.  She has been an active leader of innovative programs throughout the state of Delaware.


Good Idea – Cleveland Homes Go Purple

 purple lightbulb Something worth trying in your town!  “…the center is asking residents to put purple lights on their porches or in windows through the month to promote conversation about the issue and to remember victims… The campaign will end Nov. 7 at a Cleveland Cavaliers game where purple glow sticks will be handed out …”

Domestic Violence Center wants to shine light on problem

by April McClellan-Copeland / Plain Dealer Reporter

omestic violence can hit anyone regardless of race, culture or economic status and is so widespread that experts say one out of four women will be abused in their lifetime, said Linda Dooley Johanek, interim executive director of the Domestic Violence Center in Cleveland. But discussion and awareness about domestic violence aren’t as widespread. “Domestic violence is still behind closed doors,” Johanek said. “We want people to start talking about it. Years ago, no one talked about breast cancer. But look how much people are talking about it now. We want to bring domestic violence more out into the community and let people know that there are services located throughout the county to help them.”

Tuesday kicks off October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the DVC is mounting its first major public awareness campaign called Purple Light Nights, in which the center is asking residents to put purple lights on their porches or in windows through the month to promote conversation about the issue and to remember victims. Purple is the international color symbolic of domestic violence. Full article Return to the Million Voices Campaign Great Actions, Good Ideas Return to Million Voices membership page

Million Voices Campaign members across the country are taking steps to end domestic violence in their communities. Join them at events and become part of a growing community of individuals taking action to end domestic violence in America! To learn more about the campaign, please visit us at