National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Hotline Constituent Advisory Council

The Hotline Constituent Advisory Council (CAC), which consists of a diverse array of nationwide stakeholders representing many domestic violence and sexual assault services and programs, held a mini-orientation in August for new members of the Constituent Advisory Council who were unable to attend the February meeting.  The half-day meeting provided an opportunity for them to listen to calls and learn about Hotline operations.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide a foundation for new members to be able to participate fully in the Constituent Advisory Council and be informed to provide feedback on strategies to enhance The Hotline services.

We are excited to work with this remarkable group of people, all of whom are dynamic and nationally recognized leaders and The Hotline looks forward to identifying ways we can enhance The Hotline services to callers and other stakeholders.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

First Dating Abuse Texting Service Launches

On September 27, loveisrespect.org, a partnership between the National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle, announced the nation’s first dating abuse texting service. Teens and 20-somethings can now ask questions about healthy relationships simply by texting “loveis” to 77054 to directly connect to a peer advocate.

Vice President Joe Biden premiered the service on September 26, sending the first text to peer advocate Whitney Laas, thanking loveisrespect.org advocates for their work to end dating abuse.

An additional feature of the brand’s re-launch is the updated website. The new site contains interactive quizzes as well as expanded information about LGBTQ dating, legal support and digital abuse. As always, the innovative online chat is still accessible through the website. Also as an added feature, young adults will now be able to receive services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The re-launch of loveisrespect.org was made possible by the Office on Violence Against Women, Liz Claiborne Inc., Healthy Kids Healthy Families and the Verizon Foundation. To learn more, please visit loveisrespect.org.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Welcomes New Operations Director, Norma Mazzei

Norma Vicenta Mazzei has joined The Hotline team as Operations Director. Ms. Mazzei has worked in the field of domestic violence andsocial services for more than 16 years. Mazzei has been part of several exciting and dynamic organizations that have focused on bettering communities during this time. Mazzei is a passionate and active advocate for families affected by abuse and families that are at-risk and embraces this role with deep commitment.

During her tenure in these organizations, she has had the opportunity to be the director of several dynamic domestic violence programs and appreciates the responsibility of leading programs as well as the staff.

Her expertise includes management of several successful domestic violence shelters, transitional housing programs, domestic violence hotlines and counseling programs and working with domestic violence in the military. She also has extensive experience in contract monitoring, compliance, development of policies and procedures, oversight and management of databases, as well as program research and evaluation.

Mazzei was also the first program director for the highly successful Domestic Violence Response Team that began in 1997 in Chula Vista, California, which currently responds to over 1400 calls a year.  She also has extensive experience working with at-risk youth in homeless shelters and groups homes as well as providing case management to youth and families. Mazzei is bilingual and bi-cultural in English and Spanish and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego.

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On the Lines- loveisrespect, September 2010

My caller was 15 years old, in her first dating relationship. A friend of hers had sent her a link in a Facebook message: “Does Your Relationship Need a Make-Over?” She had taken the quiz, and the results were a little disturbing for her.

She told me that her boyfriend was pretty cool in front of other people, but he got jealous easily. He got angry and called her names when she talked to other guys at social events. He went through her phone to see who she had called and texted. He threatened to dump her if she hung out with her guy friends, but he would throw or punch things if she mentioned breaking up with him.

“My friend is protective and hates the way my boyfriend treats me, but I never thought much of it until I saw it in black and white on the quiz. I just thought this was how dating was supposed to be.”

I told my caller that she didn’t have to put up with controlling behavior in order to be in a relationship; she deserves to be treated with respect.  We talked about the dynamics of a healthy relationship and some of the red flags in her relationship.

“Thanks,” the caller said at the end of the call. “I’m glad my friend sent me that quiz, but I’m really glad that I called. It’s good to know that I have options.”

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On the Lines- The Hotline, September 2010

“I can’t even stop by to see my parents without his permission,” my caller told me.

My caller described her relationship with her husband as something that started out very loving and comforting, but soon deteriorated into something that she described as “monstrous” and “unbearable.” About two years into my caller’s marriage, her husband started getting paranoid that she was going to leave him. He would check in on her constantly, often asking detailed, minute-by-minute accounts of her day. Sometimes, he would check her routes on Google maps and make sure that the mileage on her car matched her story.

One day, she had taken one hour to do the grocery shopping. When she got home from that shopping trip, her husband was furious. He insisted that she should only need 30 minutes to do the shopping. When my caller told him that she sometimes needed more than that, he slammed her head against the piano bench and told her never to talk back to him again. It was the first time he physically hurt her, but it would not be the last. She lived in constant fear.

On the day she called The Hotline, she had gone to see her parents. They noticed a new bruise on her upper arm, one in the shape of her husband’s hand. She told them that she couldn’t stay to discuss it with them; she had to get home before her husband got suspicious. She said that the looks on her parents’ faces broke her heart. In that moment, she knew that she needed help. I let my caller know that I was glad she called. She did not deserve to be treated the way she had been treated, and she was not alone. We explored the ways that she could keep herself physically and emotionally safe, and we discussed her options and resources in going forward.

She ended the call with a sigh of relief. “Thank you,” she said. “Without you, he literally might have killed me or driven me crazy. You have saved my life!”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Glamour Campaign

Thank you to the Avon Foundation for Women for their recent matching gift of $200,000 as part of GLAMOUR magazine’s TELLNOW Campaign. The gift, along with the text  donations from the campaign, will go towards ensuring calls to The Hotline that previously would have gone unanswered are not able to be answered by a live caring voice. Last year, over 80,000 calls to The Hotline went unanswered due to a lack of funding.

Verizon has also joined in the campaign and during Domestic Violence Awareness Month will encourage their employees to make online and text donations to The Hotline to help ensure that every call is answered.

Because of partners such as GLAMOUR, the Avon Foundation for Women, and Verizon – it is our hope that when a victim of domestic violence reaches out for hope, they receive a live caring voice on the other end of the call who can provide hope and help to lead a life free from violence. 

Text TELLNOW to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline that helps us increase the number of calls we are capable of answering.

A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Message and data rates may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. By participating you certify that you agree to the terms and conditions, that you are 18 yrs or older or have parental permission, and have authorization from the account holder. Donations are collected for the benefit of National Domestic Violence Hotline by the Innovative Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at igfn.org/t. Privacy policy: igfn.org/p. Text STOP to 85944 to stop; Text HELP to 85944 for help.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and across the country family violence programs, shelters, community groups, law enforcement, students and many more are planning events to help bring awareness to this devastating issue affecting millions of Americans.

Below are a few of the events The Hotline will be participating in during DVAM. To find events in your area, visit http://dvam.vawnet.org/index.php.

Shop Til It Stops

This October, you can help end domestic violence by simply purchasing a pair of shoes at any of the  Marshalls stores.  For each pair of shoes sold during this period, $1 (up to $150,000) will be donated to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  Marshalls has worked to put an end to domestic violence through their Shop Til It Stops program. Visit www.marshallsonline.com to find a store near you, and join Marshalls in support of The Hotline’s efforts to end domestic violence.

Texas Stars

The Texas Stars have teamed up with The Hotline, and has declared Friday, October 14th “Domestic Violence Awareness Night” at the game. A percentage of proceeds from the ticket sales using the “GoStars” promo code will be donated to The Hotline to help increase awareness about domestic violence.

To purchase tickets to the game, click here. You will need to use the Promo Code: gostars. Must purchase online, not valid at box office or after noon on game day.

If you live out of the area and can’t attend the game, you can still support The Hotline by purchasing a ticket and donating it to The Hotline. We will share the tickets with Hotline and local advocates and domestic violence victims. If you wish to donate a ticket for the game, click here. Remember to use the promo code: gostars.

Unity Days

On October 4, 2011, the domestic violence community will join together to take part in the 2011 National Call of Unity.  On this free, 45 minute national call, we’ll hear from survivors, advocates, national experts, and government officials working to end domestic and sexual violence.  Together, we’ll share in a collective moment of silence for all the women, children, and men who have lost their lives to intimate partner violence and we’ll hear a dramatic recitation from nationally renowned spoken word artists Sunni Patterson and Asia Rainey.

You can join the call from anywhere however you must register to get the call-in information. To register, click here.

Mary Kay

Mary Kay is working to help change lives and end the cycle of violence.  You can help by asking your friends to “Like” the Mary Kay Facebook page.  For every new Facebook fan through October 31st, Mary Kay will donate $1, up to $1 million, to the Mary Kay Foundation who works to end domestic violence.  www.facebook.com/marykay

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

In October of 1981, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence organized a “Day of Unity.” On that day, thirty years ago, advocates from across the country joined together in their commitment to end domestic violence. The “Day of Unity” evolved into a full week of activities designed to promote awareness, and that week gradually progressed into the Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The first official Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held in October of 1987; it preceded the launch of the National Domestic Violence Hotline by nearly a decade. The Hotline was fortunate to enter into such a rich tradition, and year by year, we are honored to provide a platform for some of the most important voices in the movement: survivors, advocates, friends, and families. Every year, Domestic Violence Awareness Month holds a special place in our hearts. Its mission mirrors the mission that we strive to uphold 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: to give hope and a voice to those who have been affected by domestic violence across the nation. To date, the Hotline has held space for over 2.5 million voices, and we continue to receive over 22,500 calls per month.

On October 4th, the Hotline has the privilege to join the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in the 2011 National Call of Unity. Much like the “Day of Unity” thirty years ago, the National Call of Unity continues in the vital tradition of honoring those affected by intimate partner violence across the nation and uniting the advocates working on their behalf. We will hear from Kalyn Risker, founder of SAFE: Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment, as she shares the story of her own incredible journey. Then, following a collective moment of silence, artists Sunni Patterson and Asia Rainey will share a dramatic recitation they have prepared for the occasion.

In addition, this month we celebrate with The National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle, who just launched the new loveisrespect.org. Loveisrespect.org now offers 24 hour advocacy for those experiencing dating abuse, and we are excited to announce that help is now available via text! On September 27th the service was first used by Vice President Joe Biden, and on September 28th this breakthrough was featured on “The View.” The website is also full of new features and information, including new segments for those in the LGBTQ community, those seeking legal assistance, and those experiencing digital abuse.

Thank you so much for your support – past, present, and future – of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect.org. It is an honor to serve those affected by domestic and dating abuse, and it is to our continued delight that we are able to share in this work with you.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Katie Ray Jones
President
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Dating Abuse Helpline

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

RHBH: Taylor Shares Fears About Marriage With Friends

Photo courtesy of BravoTV.com

In last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we see the end of the trip with the housewives to Camille’s ski property. In a conversation between Taylor and Kyle, Taylor shared the anxiety she was experiencing about her failing marriage. A combination of altitude, wine and feelings seemed to overwhelm Taylor as she broke down and displayed emotions ranging from anger to paranoia and depression.

The other ladies showed concern for Taylor, asking her to talk about her situation and offering her their thoughts on her situation. After a moment where Taylor succumbed to tears, Adrienne piped up, “Sometimes two separate happy homes are better than one miserable home.”

From what we have heard of Taylor’s interview on Entertainment Tonight and from watching Taylor struggle on this episode, we know there is something majorly wrong in her relationship. In last week’s episode, she expressed that she was scared, and last night, she confirmed that she was afraid for her child.

Here are moments of this episode that we’d like to point out:

  • When Taylor says she’s scared, the other housewives don’t ask her to clarify. They never directly confront what is making her afraid.
  • Hotline Help: If a friend opens up to you and uses a word like “scared,” “afraid,” “nervous,” “intimidated” and other red flag words, it’s ok to ask for more information. You can ask, “Do you feel safe in your relationship?”.
  • Alcohol seemed to fuel Taylor’s candor. Consuming alcohol can be seen as a coping behavior and may be another red flag.
  • Hotline Help: If you see a friend reach for the bottle whenever he/she discusses their unhealthy relationship, point out this behavior to them when they are sober. It may sound like, “Hey, I’ve noticed you mostly talk about your relationship when you’re drinking.” Let them know that you want to take the opportunity to talk without alcohol present.
  • Kyle didn’t talk about Taylor’s situation when she had reunited with her husband Mauricio because she didn’t want him to think that she didn’t have a good time on the trip.
  • Hotline Help: If you ever are worried about a friend, it’s ok to use the people in your life as your sounding board. If your friend’s behaviors are striking you as off or concerning, talk about it with someone else and air your concerns. Silence might perpetuate your friend’s suffering.
  • It can be hard to know what to say to a friend in need. Make sure you stay away from areas of victim-blaming. This exchange perked our ears:
    Lisa: “Don’t you really feel that maybe you really deserve better than the way you’ve been treated. Really?”
    Taylor: “I think I don’t believe that. “
    Lisa: “That’s the problem, isn’t it?”
    While Lisa was trying to help, her approach placed the guilt on Taylor, making Taylor believe that she had done something wrong.
  • Hotline Help: No one chooses to be in an abusive relationship or wants the abuse to continue. Remember to be supportive and non-judgmental. Respect your friend’s decisions and do not criticize them. Remember that it’s easier to talk as an outsider looking at the relationship than the other way around.
  • This was an emotional trip for the housewives. As they returned home, especially in light of what Taylor had shared, we were concerned that no one asked her the crucial question, “Do you feel safe going home?”
  • Hotline Help: After a friend shares that they worry about their safety, or the safety of a child, address their physical needs by asking if they feel safe to go back to the house.

Are you ready to have the conversation? If you need help or would like more information about how to support a friend or family member, please contact us at The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Why We’re Blogging About the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

For those of us at The Hotline who are Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans, it’s difficult to watch this season. Housewife Taylor Armstrong has recently disclosed her experience of abuse and is also coping with the suicide of her allegedly abusive ex-husband. Entertainment Tonight has released gruesome photos of the black eye Taylor suffered and is discussing the incidents of abuse in greater detail.

Russell Armstrong’s death occurred after season two of the RHWOBH had finished filming. There has been a lot of controversy around the choice made by Bravo to continue airing the therapy sessions with Taylor in which she analyzed her relationship with Russell.

As this season airs, we are going to blog about the behaviors we see. We want to provide you a context for the human experiences we are all watching unfold as we tune in to each week’s episode. We hope to empower you, our readers, with knowledge that you can use if you find yourself in a similar situation to what you see on screen. What are ways to help a friend in Taylor’s situation? Is therapy recommended for abusive couples? How should you react if someone tells you that they are abused? These and other questions are areas we strive to answer by using the lens of this show to examine domestic violence.

As we write about what we see, we do not mean to exploit, objectify or judge the very real people who we are watching. We extend our saddest condolences to Russell Armstrong’s family and wish nothing but support for Taylor and her daughter as they grieve and begin their healing process.

According to online sources, 2.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the season premiere. The sheer amount of people watching the show, combined with the knowledge that one in four women has experienced abuse, helps us feel that this season could be an important learning moment for all of us.

In season one, Taylor, a domestic violence advocate herself, used her access to the cameras to positively promote a local Beverly Hills shelter, 1736 Family Crisis Center. Blogging about this season is a way for us to use a platform we have — this website — to discuss a topic that deserves our attention.

We hope you’ll join our conversation.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

17th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women’s Act

National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Dyanne Purcell and Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones joined Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden in Washington D.C. for the 17th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act yesterday. Other leaders in the domestic violence movement were also in attendance to celebrate the achievements of VAWA, which was first passed in 1994 in the efforts to better protect victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The Violence Against Women Act was a landmark piece of legislation that in addition to other great accomplishments, created the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Then-senator Joe Biden was the chief author of the original legislation and has been instrumental in supporting not only The Hotline, but also working to end violence against women and girls.

“The Violence Against Women Act is the cornerstone of our nation’s response to domestic violence, providing lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence and their children,” said CEO Dyanne Purcell. “We praise Vice President Joe Biden and his leadership on this critical issue to ensuring victims of domestic violence and their children have a national hotline to call for help and that a nationwide network of domestic violence services will be there when families reach out for help.

See Dyanne’s pictures of the event below:

Read the White House blog post on the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act to learn more about this occasion.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

43% of Dating College Women Have Experienced Violent and Abusive Dating Behaviors

A new survey reveals dating violence and abuse to be surprisingly more prevalent among college students than previously believed. Nearly half of dating college women (43%) report having ever experienced violent or abusive dating behaviors, and more than one in five (22%) report actual physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence. Despite the high number of students experiencing these types of abuse, more than one-third of college students (38%) say they would not know how to get help on campus if they found themselves in an abusive relationship.

The survey, “Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Love Is Not Abuse 2011 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” was conducted by Knowledge Networks to address the lack of data on dating violence and abuse among college students and to increase the understanding of this problem on college campuses nationwide.

According to dating violence expert, Dr. Karen Singleton, Director of Sexual Violence Response, a program of Columbia University Health Services, “This survey expands on earlier reports and reinforces the complexity of the issue.” Among the findings are:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) college women report having been a victim of an abusive dating relationship in her life.
  • 57% of students who report having been in an abusive dating relationship indicate it occurred in college.
  • 52% of college women report knowing a friend who has experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, digital, verbal or controlling abuse.
  • Further, 58% of students said they would not know how to help if they knew someone was a victim.

“The findings of this survey prove that colleges and universities need to provide a more comprehensive response and additional creative educational programs to address dating violence and abuse,” said Jane Randel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc.

The survey findings were released today, during a forum to educate students about sexual assault prevention and survivor assistance at American University.

The full report of survey results can be found at www.loveisnotabuse.com.

National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle Respond to the Urgent Need for Education

In direct response to these new findings, www.loveisrespect.org, a partnership between the National Dating Abuse Helpline and leading teen dating violence prevention organization, Break the Cycle, is launching an initiative to target college students with new, relevant resources to address the issue of dating abuse.

The expanded online content includes: Take Action (information on how students can get involved on their campus), Stay Safe (safety planning designed specifically for college students) and Help a Friend (information to assist bystanders). The survey shows that 57% of college students say it is difficult to identify dating abuse – substantive evidence of the need for increased education and awareness.

“It is our hope that with these targeted college resources, we can help increase knowledge about how students can combat the issue and ultimately, help prevent the prevalence of dating abuse and violence among students,” said President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline, Katie-Ray Jones.

The resources are available, free online at www.loveisrespect.org.

In addition, Liz Claiborne Inc. has created a college dating violence curriculum called Love Is Not Abuse, designed to help students deal with dating violence and abuse on campus. The first college curriculum of its kind, Love Is Not Abuse educates students about the dangers and warning signs of dating violence, offers lessons specifically on abuse via technology and provides resources where college students can find help on campus.

The Love Is Not Abuse curriculum was created by a task force consisting of educators and domestic and sexual violence experts from Columbia University, George Mason University, the University of Kansas, Virginia Community College System, Northern Virginia Community College and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) following the May 2010 murder of University of Virginia student Yeardley Love.

The Love Is Not Abuse college curriculum is available online, free at www.loveisnotabuse.com/web/guest/curriculum.

Survey Methodology

Liz Claiborne Inc. commissioned Knowledge Networks to conduct quantitative research among students enrolled in four-year colleges (ages 18 – 29). The sample for this study came from the Knowledge Networks probability-based online panel, KnowledgePanel®. Online data collection took place between September 29 to December 27, 2010. A total of 508 college students (330 women and 178 men) were surveyed.  The final sample was weighted using the Census Bureau school enrollment benchmarks for age, gender, race/ethnicity and geographic region based on the October 2009 Supplement of the Current Population Survey. It is statistically representative of all 18-29 year-old college students in the United States, with a margin of sampling error of ± 5.4 percentage points.

About Liz Claiborne Inc.

Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence. Through its Love Is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools that men, women, teens and corporate executives can use to learn more about the issue and find out how they can help end this epidemic. Visit them at www.loveisnotabuse.com.

About loveisrespect.org

Loveisrespect.org is a collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline. Combining resources and capacity, together they are reaching more people, building more healthy relationships and saving more lives. Loveisrespect.org is designed to:

  • Create the ultimate resource fostering healthy dating attitudes and relationships.
  • Provide a safe space for young people to access information and help in an environment that is designed specifically for them.
  • Ensure confidentiality and trust so young people feel safe and supported—online and off.

Loveisrespect.org is the ultimate resource to engage, educate and empower youth and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships.

About the National Dating Abuse Helpline

The National Dating Abuse Helpline is the direct service provider behind loveisrespect.org, operating the phone and chat services. The Helpline, originally known as “loveisrespect.org, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline,” was launched in February 2007 with help from founding sponsor, Liz Claiborne Inc. It is a national, 24-hour resource specifically designed for teens and young adults. Accessible by phone or internet, the National Dating Abuse Helpline operates from a call center in Austin, Texas.

The Helpline offers real-time one-on-one support from peer advocates. They train these young leaders to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers.

About Break the Cycle

Break the Cycle engages, educates and empowers youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence. Break the Cycle believes everybody has the right to safe and healthy relationships. Whether it’s teaching young people about the warning signs of abuse, safety planning or how to navigate the legal system, Break the Cycle gives teens and young adults the tools they need to live safer, healthier lives. Each year, Break the Cycle reaches more than one million youth nationwide. Visit them at www.breakthecycle.org.

PRESS CONTACT:

Amy C. Terpeluk
Tel.: (212) 583-2792
Cell: (917) 826-2326
terpeluka@ruderfinn.com