National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Twit Chat: “Why Doesn’t She Leave?”

We were very excited to participate in a Twit Chat with Loop 21 about the reasons a man or woman might stay in an abusive relationship. The conversation had great participation. Read through the tweets below.

A special thanks to Loop 21 for shedding light on this topic and allowing us to participate:

What do you think? Do these reasons speak to what you, or victims in your life, experienced? Please let us know your thoughts below.

On Dec 12, 2012 we discussed barriers for leaving abusive relationships with The Loop 21: http://loop21.com

http://storify.com/NDVH/why-doesn-t-she-leave-with-the-loop-21

announcement

National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline extend sympathy to families of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins; offer 24 hour support and resources for all affected by domestic violence

December 2, 2012 – Officers of The National Domestic Violence Hotline and The National Dating Abuse Helpline offer deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins who authorities say were killed yesterday in an apparent murder-suicide. While law enforcement officials continue their investigation into this tragedy, we want to remind all who are affected by domestic violence that support and resources are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at www.TheHotline.org  or 1-800-799-SAFE and www.LoveIsRespect.org or 1-866-331-9474.

“Today we extend our condolences to those affected by the violent deaths of Mr. Belcher and Miss Perkins. Tragically, we know from studies on murder-suicides in the U.S. that there are between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths per year in the United States as a result of murder-suicide and that three women die daily as a result of domestic violence. It is a national health problem that is not going away, but help for victims and those who love them is available,” said Katie Ray-Jones, president of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Critical life-saving resources and support for victims, survivors, their family and friends and even abusers can be found at both hotlines that offer services around the clock in English and Spanish. Callers in crisis can expect to speak to an advocate who will triage the situation and quickly define the next steps so that they can reach safety and remain safe.  All calls to The Hotline and The Helpline are confidential.

If you would like to interview a spokesperson about domestic violence, please contact Liz Bradford at 512.685.6298 or hotline.media@ndvh.org.

About 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. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides 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.

About the National Dating Abuse Helpline 

The National Dating Abuse Helpline is the direct service provider behind loveisrespect.org, operating the 24/7 phone, text 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. We train these young leaders to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers.

Acknowledgements:

TheHotline.org is supported by Grant Number 90EV0407/03 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Administration for Children and Families. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Administration for Children and Families or the U.S. Department of HHS.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Thank You, From The Hotline

Happy Thanksgiving! We at The Hotline want to take this moment to give thanks.

We are thankful for each of the more than 200,000 people who found the courage to call us and get help, support or information. We speak with victims, survivors, friends and family members and many other people who have been affected by domestic violence. A big thank you to the loved ones who sought help for someone they know, and to victims and survivors for trusting us to help them in their most personal moments. We consider it a privilege.

We are thankful for our corporate partners who are committed to making a difference. A very heartfelt thanks to our friends at Verizon, AVON Foundation for Women, TJX, Harold Simmons Foundation and Limited Brands Foundation. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do.

We are thankful for every single one of our supporters. Each person who donates to The Hotline, encourages someone to call 1-800-799-SAFE or who shares information about domestic violence is helping us to make a difference. Big or small, our donors and supporters empower us and we are so grateful for their encouragement.

We are very thankful for our brave advocates who answer calls. These hardworking, dedicated people are passionate about helping anyone who calls. They work tirelessly, 24/7/365. They are here on weekends, holidays and late at night. They listen to and support callers and provide them with vital information. Our advocates are the heart of our organization.

Finally, we are thankful for you. Whatever your reason for visiting this site, we are grateful that you are here. By learning about healthy relationships, you have the opportunity to make a difference in your life or in someone else’s.

Our advocates are available to talk every day, even Thanksgiving, so please do not hesitate to call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224 if you are in need of support.

Have a wonderful holiday!

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

What Did You Think of Pink’s AMA Performance?

The musical artist Pink has recieved a lot of attention for her Sunday night performance of the song “Try” at the American Music Awards. Her performance was modeled after the music video for “Try” where she and a male dancer depict an unhealthy relationship.

It is an incredible performance, but it’s not hard to see that Pink and her partner are smashing glass, pulling hair and strangling, pushing and kicking each other. The couple is even surrounded by flames.

Watch it here:

We asked a few of our advocates to chime in with what they thought of Pink’s performance. Does it promote violence or does it encourage awareness of unhealthy relationships? Is it helpful or harmful for those experiencing abuse? Does this help us become more honest about relationships?

Here’s what our advocates had to say. Please let us know what you thought of Pink’s performance in the comments below.

Truthfully, the video make me nervous because we work with people who are hurt, but I also see this as a great opportunity to learn and talk about dating violence and domestic violence. Anything that brings it out into the public sphere is good — we need to bring the reality of domestic violence out of the dark.
-Liz

I was surprised to see how aggressive the dancing interactions were between Pink and the male dancer. It felt uncomfortable to watch; like it was artful dance at points, but punctuated by aggressive hair pulls and pushing.

I think there are a lot of ways that violence is promoted in media, and for those not involved in the domestic violence field, this performance may not have been that alarming. It may have just been seen as a passionate dance between two people, punctuated by aggression and lyrics that say just “try try try.” But try to what? Make things work? This almost reminded me of that Eminem and Rihanna video where the song had really alarming lyrics. It could spark conversation but I don’t know if in the same way.
-Mary

I watched the video, and while it was a very skillful performance, I think what it says about relationships is a little sloppy.

If you look just at the dance performance itself, it reminds you of what you need for a relationship to work. You need shared responsibility, trust, support, and communication. In order for Pink’s performance to be so strong, she needed all that from her dance partner. For a relationship to work and flourish, we need those key ingredients as well.

The underlying message of the song “Try” seems to be that you need to keep trying in a relationship, even if it hurts you or your partner. The reality is that relationships should not be painful. When dancers feel pain, they don’t continue to do the same thing, because they recognize that they will become permanently injured. Similarly, if even one thing about your relationship makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can call our Hotline to talk about it.

We all deserve to feel safe and supported by our partners, whether we’re dancing or just watching Pink dance on TV.
-Advocate


This performance covers many aspects in a relationship. You are able to see how the passion in a bad relationship may be the thing that keeps someone from walking away and giving up. This performance is good in that people who just say, “You should leave him” don’t understand that there are times when it’s not abusive. Often when deciding to leave, the victim is not just looking at the abuse. They might be looking at the person they are losing and what they have been through with them. I think Pink’s performance demonstrates this feeling.

For me, the 2:05 point in the video is the most powerful part. He tries to leave through the door and is confronted by the uncertainty and the danger of being alone in the flames that are outside. Then Pink looks in the mirror and does not like what she sees in herself and her behavior (after picking him up by the hair). She is frustrated and angry about who she has become and is also met by flames. In the end, they both turn back into one another.

This just shows how hard it is for someone to leave an abusive relationship, but also for the person who has hurt someone to change. And in the end, we have to look back at what we are with the person and have to decide what we want to be.

I believe that this is art and is not promoting violence. It allows people to see the range of what goes on in relationships, both for men and women, and as both the aggressor and the victim.
-Brian

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Named a 2012 Top Workplace

The Austin American Statesman named The Hotline a top workplace for 2012. This is the third consecutive year that The Hotline has been given this honor. The article cites employees’ sense of pride for helping others, the strong support system among advocates and caring leadership as reasons why The Hotline is a positive work environment.

One employee described their job satisfaction by saying, “I talk to many strong survivors and have the chance to help them reach their goals of a safe, peaceful life. They have a difficult journey and I can encourage them and reinforce their strengths.”

The write-up also included a description of the unique service The Hotline provides for families facing crisis. To read the article, please click here.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 20: Congrats!

Today is the final day of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We would like to thank everyone who completed the DVAM Challenge and who helped spread awareness of domestic violence in their community.

The challenge saw us build support systems, reach out to friends who are hurting, evaluate our own behavior and relationships, identify resources that could help and even unite our voices with the NO MORE campaign. We talked about on-going wellness and ways to recognize abuse.

We hope that this month of change inspires you moving forward in your work and in your personal relationships. The final challenge is to stay committed to this issue. Don’t forget that domestic violence can affect anyone in any community. Remember that there are always advocates at The Hotline who are here to talk to you 24/7. Remember that you can make a difference in ending domestic violence, no matter the month.

Thank you for joining the DVAM Challenge.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 19: Think Ahead

Today is our second-to-last DVAM Challenge. We hope this October has been a chance of reflection and motivation for you. We hope it has been an important time of awareness for survivors, victims and advocates alike. For friends and family, we hope that you were encouraged to provide support to a loved one experiencing domestic violence. Thank you for taking this journey with us.

Change takes time. It requires that we continually renew our commitment in order to keep our goals on course. With this in mind, we challenge you to plan to stay involved with this issue. Challenge 19 — mark a few days on your calendar, months in the future, with a DVAM-related message. You could select days on which you’d like to volunteer at a local shelter. You could set reminders to reach out to a certain friend who you know is experiencing a rough time. You could mark days on which you’d like to return to our website and evaluate your relationship. You could simply write an encouraging message to yourself on your calendar to remind you that you are worthy of a good relationship.

Please share in the comments below how you are completing this challenge.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 18: Evaluate Your Relationship

Today marks the start of the final week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and our challenge is almost finished. Today’s challenge is about checking in with your own relationship. Run through our warning signs and see if you or your partner is exhibiting abusive behaviors. Even if you feel your relationship is healthy, ask yourself — am I respectful of my partner? What can I improve on?

If you find that your relationship is not healthy or is even abusive, remember there are always advocates here at The Hotline who are ready to talk to you 24/7.

Today’s challenge: please share this image and personally reflect on your relationship.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge: Follower Participation 3

We didn’t think it was possible, but this week’s DVAM Challenge participation has been even greater than last week’s. We are so thankful to have readers, friends/followers and supporters like you that are committed to ending domestic violence. In honor of your contribution, here are a few of this week’s participants.

Thank you again for your participation. We hope that you’ll finish strong and keep up with our DVAM Challenge until the end of the month.

http://storify.com/NDVH/dvam-challenge-week-4

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 17: Commit to Saying No More

Today’s challenge #17 is about adding your voice to the collective movement against domestic violence and sexual assault. The NO MORE campaign was started to unify the efforts of the many people working to end violence.

The following is from the NO MORE website:

NO MORE was created  by 50 individuals from many different backgrounds who were frustrated by the fact that even though domestic violence and sexual assault are devastatingly pervasive and widespread– impacting rich, poor, young , old, male, female, white, brown, black, from every region and religion– they aren’t a priority in this country.

There are many ways to get involved with the NO MORE movement. You can download the symbol, you can share a message on a social media site, you can spend time on the website learning about the statistics around these types of violence, you can add your photo to the NO MORE gallery. Today’s challenge is to select one way and get involved. Make sure to visit nomore.org.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 16: Remember a Victim

We are surrounded by stories of domestic violence and sexual assault. Whether they are reported accurately or are framed as homicides, domestic disturbances or misdemeanors, we encounter these stories on a daily basis. October is an opportunity to shed greater light on the complexities of these stories and to honor the women and men who died as result of violence.

Today for DVAM Challenge 16, commit to remembering a victim of domestic violence. This can be someone you knew personally, a story that captured the attention of your community or even a story of a stranger who you never knew. Together let’s remember these victims. We keep their spirit alive in the work that we do in our communities to prevent and end abuse.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 15: Commit to Ongoing Wellness

At The Hotline, we take the health and wellness of our callers, staff and community seriously. In the spirit of the week’s theme — committing to change — we want to encourage our readers to commit to taking care of themselves. This could mean emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc. No matter where you are in the issue of domestic violence, you deserve to be healthy and happy.

For advocates, this could mean making sure you’re in a good mind space to best help your clients. For friends and family members who are witnessing the painful abuse a loved one is experiencing, this could mean talking to someone about your feelings. For victims, this could mean talking to one of our advocates and safety planning. For a survivor, this could mean having your go-to person to call when you’re tempted to contact your abusive ex.

We recently wrote about moving on emotionally after an abusive relationship. Here are a few of the ideas we outlined for taking care of yourself emotionally.

  • Identify things that help you calm down — taking a warm bath, reading a book or taking deep breaths can help you de-stress
  • Remind yourself why you left — journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that you left and can be particularly helpful if you’re having second thoughts about leaving
  • Identify a call buddy for when you’re missing your ex — talking to a friend can help you resist the urge to reach out to your ex when you’re down
  • Talk to a counselor or join a domestic abuse survivor’s therapy group
  • Talk to your family or friends — community members and neighbors can also be a good resource
  • When an anniversary, birthday, holiday, etc. is coming up, prepare yourself — try to make other plans, set a strong support group in place to help you through emotional times

Your overall wellness is important. For today’s challenge, identify one thing you can do that will improve your health and wellness this week. It doesn’t have to be a big area. It could be as simple as promising yourself a jog after work. It could be choosing to call us at The Hotline and talking with an understanding advocate. It could be spending time with a friend so that you can de-stress. Whatever it is, we challenge you to make one act for your wellness this week and see how good it feels.