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.

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.

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.

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.

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.