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.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 14: Commit to Change

We’re entering the final lap of our DVAM Challenge. Are you still completing the tasks we’ve laid out in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

This week, we’re committing to change. You can commit to change on a personal level, on a community level or on a movement level. We can all make a commitment to take care of ourselves, support our friends and promote healthy relationships in our community. We can be loving and respectful partners, nonjudgmental friends and agents of change where we live.

This week, reflect on the positive goals you’d like to set for yourself. We’ll start this week by collectively committing to the cause of ending domestic violence. Today’s challenge is to share this image with someone you know. Keep in mind the power of your social media channels.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge: Follower Participation 2

We are so thankful that each and every one of you has taken the time to take this DVAM Challenge and to raise awareness of domestic violence. In honor of your contribution, we would like to honor a few of you. Check out this week’s round up of participation.

Thank you again for participating in the DVAM Challenge. Stay tuned next week for more challenges, and don’t forget to tag us or email us a link at when you finish a challenge so that we can give you a shout out in next week’s Storify wrap-up.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 13: Find Your Role

You have the ability to make your community a safer place for men, women and families. Help spread awareness that domestic violence is never acceptable. We can all play a special role in ending violence. For today’s DVAM Challenge 13, please share this image and message.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 12: Post this Handout

Today’s challenge is designed to help you see your impact in your local community. For DVAM Challenge 12, print this handout of domestic violence statistics and post it wherever you think it may help someone. Maybe your gym, coffee shop, school or church.

Information is power, and you have the opportunity to help spread awareness. You never know how this handout could help someone in your community.

Please share with us where you posted your flyer, so that we may recognize you on Friday’s round-up of the week’s challenges.

Click here to download the handout.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 11: The Journey of Hope

In honor of DVAM, we have teamed up with Verizon for the Journey of Hope. The Journey of Hope is a cross-country bus tour which will help raise awareness of domestic violence and provide resources to those affected by it.

“We are honored to be a part of Verizon’s campaign to help end domestic violence and pleased to partner with a corporation that inspires their employees and community members to get involved in this important social issue,” said our own Katie Ray-Jones, president of The Hotline and The National Dating Abuse Helpline, who will be travelling with the bus for several stops. “Verizon is a key supporter in our mission to prevent this silent epidemic, and we look forward to seeing the communities’ response to our efforts.”

The Journey of Hope kicked off its trip on Oct. 3 in Basking Ridge, N.J. at Verizon’s headquarters with a Walk for Hope event. More than 500 employees joined together to support domestic violence victims and survivors (Verizon pledged to donate $100 to The Hotline for every staff member that attended) and teen recording artist Jasmine Villegas was on hand to offer entertainment to participants.

Throughout the tour, members of the travelling group, including Katie, will speak with people affected by domestic violence and those working to end domestic violence in our communities. Everyone is invited to visit the bus, which will stop in six cities, to share their stories of support, survival, hope and perseverance.

People who visit the bus will also have the opportunity to donate used cell phones to Verizon’s HopeLine project (which we highlighted in DVAM challenge 10). Phones collected through the HopeLine recycling drives are either refurbished and sold or recycled, and the proceeds are donated to organizations that work against domestic violence in the form of cash grants and prepaid Verizon Wireless phones for survivors.

Since the launch of HopeLine in 2001, Verizon has awarded more than $14.2 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies around the country, and nearly 123,000 phones have been handed out to those affected by domestic violence.

At The Hotline, we want to thank Verizon for their longstanding commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of those affected by domestic violence.

DVAM Challenge 11:

Raise awareness and show your support for those affected by domestic violence by wearing a purple piece of clothing. When people ask you about your outfit, tell them about domestic violence and DVAM. And don’t forget to send us a picture of your purple clothes — email us at

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 10: Take a Stand

Our DVAM Challenge is just part of a nationwide effort to unite efforts in ending domestic violence. This week’s theme is “Take a Stand!” To inspire you to make a commitment to ending violence, here are some ideas from organizations, companies and communities participating in DVAM.

Purple Light Night
The Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Washington encourages residents in their county to exchange the white light bulbs on their front porches for purple bulbs during the month of October. This campaign, called Purple Light Nights, aims to have all residents shine purple light to show that domestic violence has no place in their community. This campaign started locally but soon spread to a global campaign in 23 states, Canada, and Guam. Purple light bulbs are available at most home stores and cost only around $5, so participating in a Purple Light Night is an impactful but inexpensive way to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Flowers on the Lake
Calcasieu Women’s Shelter in Lake Charles, La. hosts an event every October to honor those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Attendees place flowers into the lake in memory of their loved ones, sing songs and read meaningful poems. Getting together with people you know to memorialize victims of domestic violence is a beautiful way to honor DVAM.

Donate Your Used Cell Phone
Verizon Wireless has shown a longtime commitment to ending domestic violence. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll be highlighting their special bus tour, Journey of Hope. One program you could get involved with is HopeLine by Verizon. This program takes donated cell phones, refurbishes them and then gives them to domestic violence survivors to help them rebuild their lives. Wireless phones can serve as a vital link to emergency and support services and as a reliable connection to employers, family and friends. Phones from all carriers are accepted by HopeLine, so visit the Verizon website to find out how to donate your old device when you decide to upgrade.

Share Information with your Community
Several Texas high schools have partnered with their local sheriff’s department to spread awareness during DVAM. During games, football teams will wear purple stickers on their helmets to support healthy relationships. Games will also feature announcements about domestic violence and information will be passed out to spectators during the game. You too can make a difference by wearing purple. Pin a small ribbon to your shirt and when people ask what it’s for tell them about domestic violence and DVAM.

Decorate Your Home with Purple
Liberty House, a domestic violence program in Georgia, encourages their townspeople to decorate their businesses, doors and mailboxes with purple ribbons to raise awareness. Decorate your house with purple and encourage your neighbors to do the same by sharing domestic violence information with them.

DVAM Challenge 10: for today’s challenge, introduce a purple item to your home or office. We encourage you to pick up a purple lightbulb, tie a purple ribbon to your door or print a purple sign for your space. Please share with us how you are incorporating purple to your space. When someone asks you about the item, be sure to inform them that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you’d like, you can email a picture to us at

(Preview for tomorrow’s challenge: wear purple! Plan your outfit accordingly)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge: Follower Participation

We are amazed by your response to our DVAM challenge. We would like to thank each and every one of you for helping us to raise awareness of domestic violence through your social media. In viagra sales honor of your contribution, we want to spotlight a few of the meaningful conversations that we have had.

Thank you again for participating in our DVAM Challenge. We hope that you’ll continue to participate.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 9: Share a Message of Support

Welcome to DVAM Challenge 9. We’re keeping it short and simple today. Understand your importance as a friend. What you say and do can really make a difference in someone’s story. If a loved one confides in you that they are experiencing abuse, believe them and be there for them. This doesn’t mean you have to “fix” their situation for them. They may just need to feel that they are not alone. You can do so much just by listening and not judging them.

Today, share this message and spread the idea that victims of domestic violence should be met with support from their family and friends. 


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 8: For Frustrated Friends & Family

Watching someone you love experience domestic violence can be very disheartening. If the person you care for is not reacting the way that you want them to — for example, leaving the situation – it’s easy to become frustrated.

One of the most common reasons that friends and family members of victims become frustrated is because they witness or hear about abusive behaviors happening repeatedly, but don’t see any action being made by their loved one. Witnessing repeated offenses can make it difficult for you to maintain a positive outlook on your loved one’s situation.

Unfortunately, this can have a very negative effect on the victim. Your disapproval may make them feel as if they are helpless and are doing nothing for themselves. They may feel as if they cannot turn to you in times of crisis because you will judge them — if they feel that you aren’t supportive, they might distance themselves from you.

A lot of people lose relationships because of domestic violence.

Remember that abusive relationships are very complex. Abusers often manipulate their victims into believing that they will never be successful, that they will be unsupported or that they will be harmed if they leave the relationship. That can be very scary. Furthermore, abusers often follow fits of rage with periods of kindness in which they are very sweet, apologize and promise not to commit that violence again. That can be very confusing for the victim. Sometimes victims even blame themselves for the abuse that they suffer, telling themselves that if they hadn’t said or done something, their partner wouldn’t have been set off.

Before you pass judgment, try to understand what’s happening in their relationship.

The most important thing that you can do for your loved one is to be there for them when they are in need. Supporting them through tough times will maintain the relationship, but will also provide the victim with a network of care outside of the relationship.

In the spirit of supporting a loved one even when it’s tough, today’s challenge highlights ongoing friendship. DVAM Challenge #8: please acknowledge someone who has always been there for you and shown you support. Say thank you to them and share with us how they have helped you. This doesn’t even need to be related to abuse. If you are sharing your story about abuse, please make sure you do so safely. If you feel that speaking out jeopardizes your safety, please don’t share publicly but rather thank your friend.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 7: Helping a Loved One

Helping a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship can be challenging. If you have noticed that your loved one’s relationship is unhealthy, remember that they need your support. Understand that you can’t fix or change their situation. Only they can choose what to do. For example, if they aren’t concerned for their immediate safety, then you have to respect that.

When talking to your loved one about their relationship, be honest about your concerns, but stay focused on their needs and avoid being judgmental. Say things like, “When you said that your partner did this, that scared me,” and “I’m really concerned about your safety.” Avoid statements like, “Your partner is no good,” or “They need to treat you right.” Don’t talk about the partner directly and avoid attacking your loved one’s actions. Doing this will show your loved one that you care for them and will help to prevent them from feeling defensive.

Ultimately you have to let your loved one make their own decisions about their relationship — even if it means that they choose to stay in an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes it’s difficult to do when you feel that they aren’t making the right choice, but you have to respect them. Try to remember that their abuser is probably controlling them at home and the last thing they want is to have their friends and family try to tell them what to do also.

Regardless of their decision, support them. If they choose to stay in the relationship, help them keep documentation of abuse. You can take notes on a calendar, save a file on your computer or take pictures of injuries. Documentation can be used in court if your loved one ever decides to take legal action against their abuser. You can also help them to find resources in their community or to develop a safety plan.

If your loved one decides to leave, know that the road ahead for them will be difficult. They will need your support more than ever. You can even help them to connect with counselors and survivor’s groups to help them as they move forward.

We often refer people to a book called “Helping Her Get Free” by Susan Brewster. It is a guide for family members and friends of people in abusive relationships. This can be an excellent resource for more in-depth information and tips.

If you have any questions please give us a call at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). We can help you to find resources, safety plan and give you more information about what your loved one is experiencing.

For today’s DVAM Challenge, practice active listening. You can do this for any of your friends or family, no matter what their relationship status is.  Truly listen to a friend or family member and concentrate on what it is that they’re saying. Rephrase what you hear them say so that you are deeply engaged in what they are sharing with you. For example, you could say, “I’m hearing you say _____, is that right?” By practicing active listening, we can give better support to those we love.