Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Inspirational Events

141During Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), many organizations are showing their support by hosting events in honor of victims of domestic violence. This month has been filled with inspirational events and exhibits, buildings illuminated in purple light for awareness, and many fundraising initiatives for victims and survivors. With so many wonderful things planned for this important month, it is hard not to feel inspired. The month is not over yet and there is still plenty of time to do your part locally. The following three events have stood out the most for us, and we hope they inspire you as well.

Empire State Building Tower Lighting

Many buildings across the country have been glowing purple this month in honor of DVAM but one structure definitely stood out. The Empire State Building, one of the most impressive structures in the world, was highlighted in purple exterior lighting in honor of DVAM and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence on October 14.

The State of New York Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has a lot of great information on “going purple” this month. Click here to acces their pdf.

Marshalls Shop ’til It Stops Symbolic Exhibit

On October 1, Marshalls and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) joined forces for an awareness and fundraising campaign as a launch to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.This year, The Hotline was the beneficiary of the Marshalls annual Shop ’til It Stops in-store program which donates $1.00 to the Hotline for each pair of shoes sold at Marshalls between October 1 through October 15.

The program was launched by Laura Leighton and Tim Gunn with the unveiling of a symbolic exhibit created by Marshalls that honored those who take a stand against domestic violence each day. The structure featured facts about domestic violence and inspirational messages from celebrities and was open for consumer experience in Los Angeles and New York at the beginning of the month. For more information on the events, please visit thehotline.org.

The Clothesline Project

The Clothesline Project is a program started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It provides women affected by violence an opportunity to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. The shirts are then hung on a clothesline to be viewed by the public as a testimony to the problem of violence against women. Click here to visit the official campaign website and get more information.

The Verizon Foundation had a display of the Clothesline Project at their National Domestic Violence Prevention Summit 2009 Engaging Communities to Help End Domestic Violence which was held in Dallas, TX on September 24, 2009.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

No One Is A Stereotype: How Survivors Inspire Each Other

Steiner-borderLeslie Morgan Steiner is the author of Crazy Love, a memoir of domestic violence. She is also a member of the National Domestic Violence Hotline Celebrity Board. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, she has the the following words of inspiration to share with all of you:

In Crazy Love, my memoir about domestic violence, I wrote:

For a long time after I left Conor, I struggled with how I fit our society’s stereotype of an abused woman. Exactly why and how had I lost myself to a man who I was intelligent enough to see was destroying me? I kept silent during cocktail party debates about why women stayed in violent relationships. I walked away after the inevitable pronouncement that women who let themselves be abused are weak, uneducated, self-destructive, powerless. I fit none of these stereotypes. I never met a battered woman who did.

Since Crazy Love was published and a YouTube video was posted last March, I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from readers. A grandmother who left her abuser 47 years ago. Several teenaged girls, one who writes me every week about how hard it has been to leave her boyfriend and see him with other girls. Ivy League graduates. Eloquent, effusive writers. Readers who have trouble spelling and typing properly – but have no trouble telling their story. International diplomats. Doctors’ wives – and doctors. Gay men abused by their partners. Straight men abused by their wives. Husbands seeking to understand their wives’ prior experiences with abuse. Police officers. Therapists.

I have yet to get an email from a stereotype. Because they don’t exist. We survivors may have a lot in common, but none of us is a stereotype. Stereotypes can be used to demean, blame and marginalize victims. The only stereotype worth promulgating pertains to the pattern of abuse – not the faces, ages, income levels or ethnicities of victims. The New Jersey-based Rachel Coalition offers an excellent brochure outlining victims’ legal rights, and they use the following stereotype to define abuse:

Domestic violence is the physical, emotional, psychological, and/or sexual abuse of one person by another with whom there is a relationship. Abusers use violence and threats of violence to gain power and control over their partners. Violence is never appropriate. Domestic violence can range from verbal harassment to homicide.

Now that is a stereotype I can embrace.

I love it when I open my email screen and discover another note from a stranger whom I know is also a friend. The headlines often read something like “You Told My Story” or “Now I Don’t Feel Ashamed or Alone.” The emails are never short. Usually, they read like a book themselves, or at least a wonderfully long telephone conversation between old friends. When people give permission, I share their stories on my website as part of The Crazy Love Project, which is dedicated to connecting and empowering survivors.

Abuse – and stereotypes – thrive only in silence and ignorance. Fellow abuse survivors inspire me, tell my story back to me, and reassure me that I have no reason to feel ashamed or alone. Most of all, you make me feel like I’m a person, not a stereotype. Thank you to everyone who has heard my story – and told me yours.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

National Domestic Violence Prevention Summit 2009

verizonThe Verizon Foundation brought together more than 120 leaders at its 4th Annual National Domestic Violence Prevention Summit. This year’s summit addressed two important issues – engaging communities to help end domestic violence, and bringing men into the conversation to be part of the solution. Summit Speaker and Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project director Curt Rogers described the Summit as groundbreaking in its inclusion of male victims in the discussion.

The Summit also showcased model programs and partnerships that support a collaborative community effort to end domestic violence. This included areas such as public service media, law enforcement, public health and many others. The Summit had a large number of Verizon executive leadership in attendance as well as leaders in the domestic violence community including National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Sheryl Cates.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Symbolic Exhibit Launches Partnership between Marshalls and the National Domestic Violence Hotline

timgunnThe partnership between Marshalls and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) for the Shop ‘til It Stops Campaign has officially launched with two fundraising and awareness events in Los Angeles and New York. The first event in Los Angeles on October 1, kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness month and featured celebrity guests such as Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and Melrose Place star Laura Leighton and others.

Celebrity guests were on-hand alongside domestic violence survivors to unveil a symbolic exhibit honoring those who take a stand against domestic violence. The structure featured facts about domestic violence as well as pre-recorded messages from celebrity guests such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Martina McBride, Vivica Fox, Robin Givens, Michael Bolton as well as others. The first 100 people to take a stand against domestic violence by walking through the exhibit at the unveiling received a free pair of shoes from Marshalls. The exhibit also travelled to Union Square in New York City for second event on October 8 where Robin Givens and Judge Jeanine Pirro were celebrity guests.

Part of the Shop til It Stops campaign donates $1.00 for each pair of shoes sold (up to $150,000) from October 1 through October 15.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Verizon Wireless HopeLine Program Provides Support for Victims

verizon wirelessVerizon’s Nokia Shade cell phone has become available online. This is the first phone to have #HOPE pre-programmed in the contact list. Customers who dial #HOPE from the Nokia Shade or from any Verizon Wireless phone are automatically connected to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline).

Verizon Wireless has been a long time champion for Domestic Violence prevention. They run a HopeLine program year round which collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries, and accessories and provides them to victims of domestic violence. According to The Hotline CEO Sheryl Cates, Verizon’s efforts have been a great success.

“Over the past year, the Hotline received more than 1,000 calls through #HOPE, so it’s clear that many victims are relying on wireless technology and #HOPE from Verizon Wireless as a vital safety link for them and their families,” said Sheryl Cates, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “We are happy to see Verizon Wireless and Nokia take the next step and pre-program #HOPE into the Nokia Shade device. This quick and easy access to the Hotline and our advocates will make it even easier for victims to find the resources they need for safety and independence.”

Please click here for more information about Verizon’s efforts.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Capital Metro Partners with The Hotline for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

busThe National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) has partnered with Capital Metro in Austin, Texas in an effort to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence. The Hotline number is being featured on the sides of three buses during the next few months. Both the toll-free number and the toll-free text telephone number are being featured with a statewide statistic stating that 74 percent of Texans are affected by domestic violence. In addition, one hundred Hotline signs in both English and Spanish are featured inside one-third of Capital Metro’s bus fleet. Together, the signage is estimated to reach approximately 43,000 of the transit system’s 130,000 daily riders. Since Texas generates the second highest number of calls to the Hotline and Austin is the state capital and the home base for The Hotline, this was a perfect and logical partnership.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline CEO Sheryl Cates on Fox News

marshallsNational Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) CEO Sheryl Cates was in New York today and made an appearance on New York City’s Fox 5 Morning News Show. Her interview with anchor Mike Woods focused on shedding the light on domestic violence and The Hotline’s recent partnership with Marshall’s for the Shop Till It Stops Campaign. Marshalls is donating $1 to The Hotline for each pair of shoes purchased at any Marshalls store between October 1 and 15, 2009. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and an important time to reach out to the media and bring awareness to the cause.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Judge Jeanine Pirro Puts the Spotlight on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Former New York District Attorney and County Court Judge Jeanine Pirro is partnering with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). She will use her national televised daily court program Judge Jeanine Pirro, as a national platform to educate her viewers and bring attention to the cause. Beginning on October 8 and continuing every Thursday for the entire month, the program will air a series of public service announcements for The Hotline. A special one-hour episode will also air on October 29, dedicated entirely to domestic violence cases, with an audience comprised of domestic violence victims.

Judge Pirro has always been a champion for the cause and started one of the first domestic crime units in the country. During her years in law enforcement, she established bureaus to investigate and prosecute crimes including domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and sex offenses.

announcement

Capital Metro Partners with The Hotline for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1, 2009—Austin, TX—Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background, and one of the most chronically underreported crimes. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. For this reason, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and Capital Metro have partnered to raise public awareness about the issue by advertising The Hotline number on the sides of three buses.

“The Hotline is the first step to safety for many families in crisis. Since Texas generates the second highest number of calls to The Hotline and Austin is the state capital and our home base, teaming up with Capital Metro made sense,” said Katie Ray Jones, Director of The Hotline.

The signs feature The Hotline toll-free number, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), and the toll-free text telephone (TTY) number, 1-800-787-3224, with a statewide statistic: 74% of Texans are affected by domestic violence. One hundred Hotline signs in English and in Spanish are inside one-third of Capital Metro’s bus fleet. Together, the signage will reach approximately 33 percent of the transit authority’s ridership.

“Capital Metro cares about the safety and well-being of its passengers on and off the bus,” said Fred Gilliam, Capital Metro President/CEO. “We are pleased to work with the National Domestic Violence Hotline in raising awareness of domestic violence among the thousands of Central Texans that ride our transit system every day.”

Until the establishment of The Hotline, access to help was a major barrier for victims of domestic violence. Today, there are more than 5,000 local domestic violence programs in the United States providing a wide range of services including shelter, legal assistance, counseling, emergency transportation and more. “Knowing who to call is only one barrier; victims of domestic violence need to know what their options are for protecting their safety and the safety of their children. A single national toll-free number offers the most effective means of support for victims to learn about their options, gather information and receive referrals to resources in their local communities,” added Jones.

The Hotline provides anonymous and confidential life-saving support, crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through a toll-free confidential call center which operates in 170 languages through interpreter services.

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Contact:
Patty Gonzales, Communications Manager
(512) 685-6366 (Office)
(512) 809-3729 (Cell)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Pledge

“Become Inspired—you never know when someone will become inspired by your courage to make a difference.”

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would like to honor the amazing life-saving work being done on behalf of women, teens, children and men who are experiencing violence in their relationships. All across the nation domestic violence advocates, volunteers, friends, families, co-workers, and individuals are extending their hearts and hands to help those in extraordinarily dangerous circumstances from someone who claims to love them. I continue to be inspired by the dedication and commitment to end violence in our communities.

image005I am writing this piece to encourage all of you to find your passion and inspiration! To encourage you to use it to keep making a difference in the world. Many are called to make a difference as I am in my daily work but I had help getting here. Her name is Rochelle and she is my sister. Rochelle has been my inspiration working to end violence against women for the last 25 years. Rochelle (pictured second from the left with sisters Chris, Laurie and myself) has overcome many obstacles, an abusive marriage for eight years, which at its most violent she once felt like taking her own life to get free of the situation. She endured economic poverty which had her working three jobs as a result of her husband’s choice to drag her through an extended legal battle and bankruptcy, all the while being a wonderful mother to a young daughter. She is a self confident, smart, amazing woman who has developed into the most perfect monarch. She went through the metamorphosis from victim to survivor to the whole beautiful woman she was and is meant to be. Her triumph over this tragedy continues to be my inspiration when I am tired or feel weary. My most proud moment was when she spoke of her personal story for the first time at the White House reception upon the 10th Anniversary of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It took courage to leave her desperate situation then and she has pushed through her own challenges to now be courageous in helping other women in shelters and in her workplace to believe in their dreams and to reach their goals. I continue to be grateful for her being alive today to share her story with others and be my muse. I love you Rochelle, and I, like my other sisters, continue our pledge to end violence against women.

If someone inspires you, consider making a donation in their honor

Join me in sharing your story of inspiration

Join our online community working to end violence

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Peace,

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Sheryl Cates
Chief Executive Officer
National Domestic Violence Hotline