National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Valentine is a Healthy Relationship

The most popular gifts loved ones give each other for Valentine’s day are roses, chocolates and jewelry. Yes, it is nice to get the flowers and treats, but it is also nice to know that you are in a loving and secure relationship. The best gift you can give a loved one is the gift of a healthy relationship year-round.

Here are some tips to a healthy relationship:

  • Be respectful, thoughtful and kind. This sounds simple enough but there are times when our own emotions get in the way and we take out our stress and anger on those we love.
  • Be honest and talk openly with each other if something is bothering you. If there is conflict, see if there is a compromise that suits you both.
  • Be supportive of each other’s successes and also be there for one another when things don’t go quite right.
  • Maintain your own identities and spend some time apart so that you do not become dependent on each other and isolated from friends and family.

If you’re a parent, remember that maintaining a healthy relationship is also good for your children. They mimic what they see at home so show them through your own relationship what they should look for in a partner. It is never too early to talk with your children about how to develop a healthy relationship.

Consider these goals for teaching your children about relationships:

  • Ensure they respect other people and other people’s property.
  • Show them how to address a situation that makes them angry without using violence or angry words.
  • If they have a problem with a friend, talk to them about compromises.
  • Teach them that there are consequences for our actions. Kids need to know this, even at an early age.

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship but you should strive for a healthy relationship that makes you happy and doesn’t cause you an inordinate amount of stress. Everyone deserves love, dignity and respect in their relationship.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

New Partnership Launches Ultimate Healthy Relationship Resource

Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline announced today that they are joining forces to create a powerful and comprehensive online destination to engage, educate and empower teens and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships:

Break the Cycle has provided training, education, online resources, advocacy and activism for teens and young adults for over 15 years.  The National Dating Abuse Helpline first started taking online chats and calls in February 2007. With these two groups joining forces, teens and young adults will have one comprehensive site that gives them resources, articles, chats and all the information they need to make informed decisions about their relationships. posted a video that talks more about the partnership or you can read the press release for more information.


New Partnership Launches Ultimate Healthy Relationship Resource

Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, the Two Most Respected Dating Violence Advocates, Join Forces to Create the Most Powerful Online Healthy-Dating Resource for Teens and Young Adults in the United States,

Feb. 8, 2011 – Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, a project of the National Council on Family Violence, are joining forces to create the most comprehensive online destination to engage, educate and empower teens and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships–

Break the Cycle is the nation’s leading organization addressing dating abuse with more than 15 years of providing training, education, online resources, advocacy and activism. The National Dating Abuse Helpline provides the only peer-to-peer online chat in the country where trained advocates give advice to other teens and young adults.

Teen dating violence is an urgent, silent epidemic. One in three teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship and more than two-thirds of them will never report it to anyone.

“Break the Cycle’s extensive experience serving teens and young adults, in collaboration with the National Dating Abuse Helpline’s one of a kind chat service offers a new nationwide response to dating violence,” said Marjorie Gilberg, Executive Director of Break the Cycle. “This revolutionary partnership will establish as the ultimate online source of help and information for teens and young adults.”

“We are thrilled to launch this innovative partnership and project,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Dating Abuse Helpline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Partnering with Break the Cycle will broaden and enhance services and resources available for the thousands of teens and young adults who contact us at”

A National Advisory Board composed of a diverse group of youth and culturally specific service providers will enhance the partnership by providing feedback on how to best serve teens and young adults. will help teens and young adults, ages 12-24 navigate the spectrum of healthy relationship behaviors. Young people will learn there are options, answers and support available to them every hour of every day. Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline are designing the site specifically for young people, emphasizing confidentiality and trust to ensure teens nationwide feel safe and supported – online and off.


About National Dating Abuse Helpline

The National Council on Family Violence launched the National Dating Abuse Helpline in 2007 with funding from Liz Claiborne, Inc. and serves as an innovative source of support and resources for teens and young adults involved in abusive dating relationships, their peers, parents, teachers and friends. The Helpline offers services to young people across the country who are experiencing dating abuse and are seeking to engage in healthy relationships by utilizing the technologies they use most often: web, chat and telephone. Young men and women can anonymously contact trained peer-to-peer advocates by telephone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-331-9474 or online via live chat at

About Break the Cycle

Break the Cycle believes everyone has the right to safe and healthy relationships. As the leading voice for teens on the issue of dating violence, Break the Cycle advocates for policy and legislative changes that will better protect the rights and promote the health of teens nationwide. Engaging, educating and empowering youth through prevention and intervention programs, Break the Cycle helps young people identify and build healthy relationships. For more information, please visit or call 310-286-3383.

Contact: Susan Risdon at 214-226-6741 or

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Sports Stars Tackling Domestic Violence

The Hotline is proud to welcome three well-respected sports figures to The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee —  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl Tight End Jason Witten and baseball great, Joe Torre. These three men join a diverse group of celebrities working together on a year-long “Love Is” campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence and get the message out that help is available through The Hotline for those in abusive relationships.

The “Love Is” campaign features public service announcements from numerous celebrities, as well as Love. Dignity. Respect. T-shirts, with proceeds going to The Hotline.

Read more about the newest members of the Honorary Committee here.


The Super Bowl Brings Superstars to Texas –NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joins the National Domestic Violence Hotline 15th Anniversary Celebrity Team; Hotline Honorary Committee Member Christina Aguilera Will Sing the National Anthem

January 27, 2011 – The Super Bowl is coming to Texas and bringing the biggest stars from across the country for the biggest sporting event of the year. The National Domestic Violence Hotline, based in Austin, Texas, is pleased the leader of the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell, is joining the National Domestic Violence Hotline to help bring awareness to domestic violence and to celebrate the 15th Anniversary. The Commissioner joins Dallas Cowboys superstar Jason Witten, baseball great Joe Torre and a Fabulous Array of Stars who are kicking off a year-long campaign for the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) to help end domestic violence. Click here to see the celebrities teaming up with The Hotline:

The Hotline is also pleased that one of the most accomplished performers of the last decade, honorary committee member Christina Aguilera will sing the National Anthem at the big event. She has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, achieved four #1 singles on the Billboard hot 100 chart, and has won five Grammy Awards, as well as three top five albums in the United States.

Roger Goodell is the eighth chief executive in the NFL’s 90-year history. He was chosen by the NFL club owners to succeed Paul Tagliabue on August 8, 2006 and took office on September 1, 2006. He has addressed a wide range of issues, including player health and safety, the medical needs of retired players, personal conduct, revenue sharing, stadium construction, media innovation, and international development.

Pro Bowl Tight End, Dallas Cowboys Star Jason Witten witnessed family violence as a child. He started the SCORE Foundation, now in its fourth year, to work with families in crisis. “The National Domestic Violence Hotline has done so much for victims of abuse over the last 15 years. People forget how prevalent domestic violence is and how it affects society, families and children. I am pleased to do my part to break the cycle of violence in our families in the future,” said Witten.

Three years ago, the foundation launched the Jason Witten SCOREkeepers program, a unique initiative placing full-time, trained male mentors in battered women’s shelters throughout Texas. The mentors seek to demonstrate positive male behavior to the children living in these shelters in an effort to break the cycle of violence that plagues families affected by abuse. With the help of generous grants from the Allstate Foundation, Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation has placed SCOREkeepers in six shelters across the Lone Star State. This year, the foundation launched a new domestic violence prevention program called “Coaching Boys Into Men” in high schools across Arlington, Texas. The program trains coaches to educate their players on the dangers of dating violence.

Joe Torre is Chairman of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, which he and his wife, Ali, launched in 2002. Its mission is to develop educational programs that will end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives. In the eight years since its inception, the Foundation has educated thousands of students, parents, teachers and school faculty about the devastating effects of domestic violence.

Torre recently concluded his third and final season as Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom he led to the National League Championship Series in both 2008 and 2009. Previously, he spent twelve seasons as Manager of the New York Yankees, leading them to the playoffs every year, including six World Series appearances and four World Series Championships (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000).

The celebrities will use their high profiles to help The Hotline with the 15th Anniversary promotions and will raise national awareness about the 2.3 million people who have been helped by The Hotline.

The Hotline is honored to have such prominent leaders like Roger Goodell, Jason Witten and Joe Torre join the cause and help raise awareness about domestic violence,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of The National Domestic Violence Hotline. “The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day, with assistance in 170 languages. 1-800-799-SAFE is a life-line for women, men, children and families in danger and offers victims and those who care about them help and hope.”

The Hotline receives about 23,500 calls each month. The special 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee will increase awareness that help is available, and this awareness offers opportunities to let more people know that domestic violence can and must be stopped.

About us:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline was established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress and is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization providing crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies and the general public.

Contact: Angela Hale

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

What Makes Someone Speak Out Against Domestic Violence?

Have you often wondered what makes a person speak out against domestic violence? Is it because they themselves or a family member were abused by an intimate partner? Or did they see the injustice that the abused face and want to speak out to offer support and help?

Out of the 17 members on our 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee, eight were either abused themselves or they had a family member who was abused in a relationship. The other nine were moved through events in their careers and by people in their lives who have helped them see the glaring threat that domestic violence poses to our families.

There are many ways someone can use their voice against domestic violence. Many individuals have started blogs to get information out on exactly what domestic violence is, and to supply resources for those needing help. Some bloggers are survivors of domestic violence and want to tell their story in hopes of reaching someone who is going through the same situation.

Others, like members of The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee, have created public service announcements to spread awareness on the issue.

Quite a few musical artists have used their talents to express their feelings, whether through writing songs about domestic violence or using music videos to reach people. Two local musicians who are using their voices on behalf of victims are AJ Vallejo of the Austin-based band Vallejo and Jacob Gonzales. They produced an acoustic version of Rihanna’s song, “Umbrella” for SafePlace in Austin. The cover is a stirring rendition and contains statistics and pictures in the video that highlight the facts of domestic violence. Through their music, AJ and Jacob want to ensure that people know how prevalent domestic violence is in our country and that there is help for those who need it.

Another group who is using their talents to bring awareness to domestic violence is Y&R Chicago, a creative firm that aims to bring attention to worthy causes. This group expressed their admiration for The Hotline, and independently created “It Rarely Stops,” a PSA with haunting imagery, to bring to light the cyclical nature of domestic violence. The video includes the moving lyrics of “Mercy Street” performed by Peter Gabriel, who donated the rights to the music for the use of the video. Y&R feels the silence of the victim, her voicelessness, is the very thing that makes the spot powerful – and therefore speaks so loudly to its audience.

The Celtic-rock band Apsylon has been supporting The Hotline by donating proceeds from the download of their debut album, “Dreaming of Yesterday,” to The Hotline and loveisrespect. They were also inspired by our 15th Anniversary Love Is campaign to produce a PSA for the campaign.

However you choose to use your skills to help those being abused, we thank you and applaud your efforts to make sure everyone knows help is available and that they are not alone. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is confidential and anonymous and takes calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).


National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

It’s Time to Talk: Awareness Day Brings Much Needed Attention to Domestic Violence

Every year, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds a media day called It’s Time to Talk Day. The day includes opportunities for print and radio outlets to generate a dialogue about domestic violence. Last year, the event was held in New York City on December 8 at the Liz Claiborne headquarters, where showrooms were transformed into “Talk Radio Row,” allowing talk shows hosts to broadcast programs throughout the day with special guests from various domestic violence organizations, corporations and foundations.

Two advocates from The Hotline and loveisrespect attended the events and participated in the Radio Row interviews to bring awareness to the issue and to ensure that people know there is a place to call for help. In addition to advocates speaking out, celebrities such as Tim Gunn and actress Stephanie March took part in the 7th annual It’s Time to Talk Day.

A special screening of the documentary “Telling Amy’s Story” was held prior to ITTTD as a kick-off of the day. Our advocates who attended share their recollections of the event:

From Melissa Kaufman, Volunteer and Training Coordinator for The Hotline and loveisrespect

Our whirlwind trip to New York City started with a viewing of “Telling Amy’s Story,” the documentary from Verizon which follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred on November 8, 2001. The viewing was emceed by the co-host of the Today show, Meredith Vieira, and we were able to visit with Meredith and a few others before entering the theater to watch the film.

After the movie was over, we exited the theater into the freezing cold NYC night and walked back to our hotel to get some rest before our next adventure. The following morning, we woke up at 5 a.m., got ready and walked to the Liz Claiborne headquarters for the annual It’s Time to Talk Day. The only people out that early with us on our walk were the street vendors preparing for the day and delivery drivers. We spent the next three hours at Liz Claiborne talking to advocates and experts in the domestic violence field and conducting interviews with a panel of radio hosts and bloggers. It was pretty exciting to be surrounded by the amazing women and men who are doing such tremendous work around teen dating abuse and domestic violence.

So much awareness still needs to be raised around this issue and I hope our time there helped spread the word about the help that is out there for victims at The Hotline and loveisrespect.

From Diane Perez, Hotline Advocate

This year, I had the great opportunity to attend the Liz Claiborne’s It’s Time to Talk Day, which started with a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story” the evening before. I had already seen the documentary but regardless how many times you see it, it’s still just as powerful each time. Meredith Vieira with NBC’s Today emceed the screening, and shared with everyone there that she was a survivor of domestic violence in her college years. I thought it took a lot of courage to tell her story because with domestic violence there is always a lot of shame involved. Meredith sharing her story was powerful because it really speaks to the reality that domestic violence does not discriminate against anyone from any background, and that domestic violence is not just a poor community issue but that it is an epidemic in our country. The next day at the It’s Time to Talk Day event was just as powerful with so many people involved in sharing their voices and speaking up about domestic violence.

Information is power and as long as we keep educating and speaking out, we can shine a light on something that can often times be very isolating and lonely.

To learn more about It’s Time to Talk Day, please watch the video below.

It’s Time to Talk Day from Elizabeth Davies on Vimeo.

Photos from the event:

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National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month and this dangerous and unpredictable crime is often seen in domestic violence situations. Three in four victims are stalked by someone they know and more than 3.4 million adults are stalked each year in the United States.

The theme for the 8th annual observation of this awareness month is “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” which encourages people to learn what constitutes as stalking, recognize it when it happens, and put an end to it. Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Those who are victims of stalking sometimes suffer in silence. They have anxiety, social dysfunction and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population. Stalking also affects their ability to go to school or work. Stalkers often use technology to track their victims. They install spyware on computers and use global positioning systems on cell phones.

This January, learn more about stalking and how you can help spread awareness of this crime in your community. For more information, please visit the Stalking Resource Center.

Parents, if you need help talking to your teen about stalking or you worry that they are currently being stalked, please direct them to a post by loveisrespect on the issue.