Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 5: Know the Signs of Abuse

Over 500 people shared our photo from Challenge Four on Facebook! The DVAM Challenge is off to a great start!

During this week, we have reflected on how information is powerful in understanding and ending domestic violence. Being able to tell the signs of domestic violence is very challenging, especially when it is happening to someone we love or maybe even ourselves.

Please read the following signs of abuse.

It may be abuse if one partner:

– Embarrasses the other with put-downs
– Acts in ways that scares the other partner
– Controls what the other does, who they see or talk to or where they go
– Stops the other partner from seeing friends or family members
– Takes the other partner’s money or Social Security check, makes the other partner ask for money or refuses to give money
– Makes all of the decisions
– Tells the other partner that they’re a bad parent or threatens to take away or hurt their children
– Prevents the other partner from working or attending school
– Acts like the abuse is no big deal, it’s the victim’s fault, or even denies doing it
– Destroys property or threatens to kill family pets
– Intimidates with guns, knives or other weapons
– Shoves, slaps, chokes, or hits the other
– Threatens to commit suicide
– Threatens to kill their partner

For today’s challenge, please share these warning signs with someone you know. You can make it a Facebook status, send one out as a tweet, email or simply talk about warning signs with a friend.

If you are experiencing the signs above, please call our advocates at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 4

We have to remove the stigma around domestic violence. Many statistics show that 1 in 4 women will be abused in their lifetime. Despite this high number, abuse is still a taboo subject. We need to make domestic violence an issue that we can talk about openly so that victims and survivors won’t feel judged for experiencing abuse. We should make sure that anyone who reaches out for support is met with understanding and compassion.

This week’s theme is that information equals power. For DVAM Challenge #4, please share this image. You may right click it and save it to your computer to be shared electronically via email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or more. You could also actually print it out and tape it to a mirror in your house, or pin it to a bulletin board at your church, local cafe, workplace, etc.

Please share this message. Promote the idea that domestic violence can happen to anyone, and that there is support available.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 3: Test Your Knowledge of Domestic Violence

How much do you know about domestic violence? Take our quiz below as your DVAM challenge #3.

DVAM challenge #3: Answer true or false to the statements below and then continue reading on to see how you did.

1. Domestic violence is not a problem in your community.

2. Couples counseling is recommended by The Hotline for abusive relationships.

3. Sometimes the victim provokes their partner into abusing them.

4. Yelling, putting down or belittling someone isn’t ever considered abuse.

5. On average, more than 3 women are murdered by their partners every day.

6. If the abuse was getting too bad, the victim would just leave.

7. The most dangerous time for a victim is often when their partner first lashes out.

8. Everyone deserves respect in a relationship.

9. If children aren’t being abused and don’t witness the abuse, they aren’t affected.

10. The cost of domestic violence is extremely high to society.

What do you think? How many are true and how many are false? Here’s the key:

1. False. Domestic violence happens in every community. Unfortunately many cases go unreported.

2. False. The Hotline does NOT recommend couple’s counseling when there is abuse in the relationship. It can be very dangerous to the partner being abused. An abuser may use what is said in therapy later against their partner. Individual counseling may be helpful but couple’s counseling is not recommended. Read more here.

3. False. Regardless of their actions, no one deserves to be physically, verbally or sexually abused.

4. False. Domestic violence is the pattern of behavior than an abuser uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. It can be physical, verbal or sexual.

5. True. Each year, domestic violence results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women. Furthermore, domestic violence results in nearly 600,000 injuries among men (CDC).

6. False. Many victims love their partners despite the abuse or feel as if they have no support system or resources outside of the relationship and so they feel as if they can’t leave. Furthermore, the period immediately after leaving an abusive relationship is extremely dangerous.

7. False. Domestic violence typically worsens over time. Leaving is the most dangerous time for a victim because their abusive partner feels like they are losing power and control. The abuser may escalate the abuse in order to regain that power and control.

8. True. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused and there is no excuse for being physically, verbally or sexually violent toward a partner.

9. False. Children are extremely perceptive. Even if they don’t see the abuse happening, they feel its effects.

10. True. Each year, domestic violence costs more than $5.8 billion dollars, with $4.1 billion of that amount being spent directly on medical and mental health services (NCADV).

How did you do? Interested in learning more about domestic violence? Check out our website for more information or give us a call at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM Challenge 2: Information is Power

This week, we’ll be focusing on how information is a powerful tool for survivors, victims and advocates alike. By knowing more about domestic violence, we’ll be able to identify it when we see it in our homes and communities, and we will know what options are available for those involved.

During this week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, think about what you know about this issue. What questions do you still have? Do you know where to find the answers?

Remember the power you have in sharing what you know to those around you. Online channels like email, Facebook, Twitter and more can be so impactful. You never know who in your network may need to know more about domestic violence.

DVAM Challenge 2: Post one of these messages below as your Facebook status or Tweet it out to your followers.  Don’t want to use social media? Then simply tell someone you love one of these facts below. 

– More than 1 in 3 women & 1 in 4 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner (CDC, 2010)

– Intimate Partner Violence can affect health in many ways. The longer the vio­lence goes on, the more serious the effects. (CDC, 2012)

– You have the right to a healthy relationship with a partner who treats you with respect.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Hotline Encourages Everyone to Get Involved and Help Raise Awareness During October for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Today welcomed October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, as a chance for everyone  – victims, survivors, advocates, law enforcement, supporters and political leaders – to unite in our work to end abuse.

“We want the public to know The National Domestic Violence Hotline is the only national Hotline in the United States for victims of domestic violence and we are open 24-hours a day, every day for women, men, children and families in danger,” said Katie Ray-Jones, President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  “We also want to take this opportunity in October to raise awareness about The Hotline and get more people across the country involved in creating change.”

Throughout October, communities across the country will celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, mourn for those whose lives were taken by domestic violence and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.

We also want to empower everyone to get involved and help raise awareness about domestic violence.  We recognize the power that each one of us has in making a difference for someone. At The Hotline, every call is a chance for healing and change.

This year we’re launching a special DVAM campaign that EVERYONE can be involved in.  For 20 days in October, we’ve developed special challenges.  We want you to complete these challenges and share your achievement with us.  By taking our daily challenges, you’re saying that TODAY you are taking a step towards ending domestic violence.

We will be using a blog and our Facebook/Twitter accounts as we go through this month.  Every Friday starting on October 12, we will dedicate our blog to celebrating what our users are doing in their own communities.

One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime, and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Will You Commit to Our DVAM Challenges?

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s a chance for everyone in the movement – victims, survivors, advocates, law enforcement, supporters and politicians – to unite in our work to end abuse.

Working to end domestic violence is a daunting task. There are times where it seems like we’re trying to achieve the impossible. How can we successfully empower everyone to have a healthy relationship? While our task can feel overwhelming at times, we keep going. That’s because we recognize the power that each one of us has in making a different for someone. At The Hotline, every call is a chance for healing and change.

This year we’re launching a special DVAM campaign that EVERYONE can be involved in. For 20 days in October, we’ve developed special challenges. We want you to complete these challenges and share your achievement with us. By taking our daily challenges, you’re saying that TODAY you are taking a step towards ending domestic violence.

We will be using this blog and our Facebook/Twitter accounts as we go through this month. Every Friday starting on October 12, we will dedicate our blog to celebrating what our users are doing in their own communities.

Please join us and make this October one of powerful change for you and all who work to end domestic violence.

CHALLENGE 1: Commit to our DVAM challenge. Do one of the following:

– Share a link to this blog post to someone via email or social media
– Share our challenge image (download here) and encourage your friends to join
– Declare boldy, “I am taking The Hotline DVAM   Challenge!” on Facebook or Twitter

PLEASE NOTE: If you are in an abusive relationship, please do not post anything publicly that might jeopardize your safety.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

President Obama Issues Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation

Today, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation declaring October 2011 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and urging Americans to speak out against domestic violence. President Obama specifically mentioned The Hotline as a resource to help victims and survivors. Please read the excerpt below, and find the entire proclamation on

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the significant achievements we have made in reducing domestic violence in America, and we recommit ourselves to the important work still before us.  Despite tremendous progress, an average of three women in America die as a result of domestic violence each day.  One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.  These statistics are even more sobering when we consider that domestic violence often goes unreported.

The ramifications of domestic violence are staggering.  Young women are among the most vulnerable, suffering the highest rates of intimate partner violence.  Exposure to domestic violence puts our young men and women in danger of long-term physical, psychological, and emotional harm.  Children who experience domestic violence are at a higher risk for failure in school, emotional disorders, and substance abuse, and are more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence themselves later in life.

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

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 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.

A Presidential Commitment to Ending Domestic Violence

“The bottom line is this: No one in America should live in fear because they are unsafe in their own home – no adult, no child. And no one who is the victim of abuse should ever feel as though they have no way to get out. We need to make sure that every victim of domestic violence knows that they are not alone; that there are resources available to them in their moment of greatest need. As a society, we need to ensure that if a victim of abuse reaches out for help, we are there to lend a hand.”

–President Obama

On October 27th, President Obama and Vice President Biden recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month with an event hosted at The White House. With the East Room filled with advocates, policy makers, politicians and other dignitaries, the President discussed the work being done by the administration on behalf of domestic violence victims, particularly economic provisions that help survivors financially reconstruct their lives.

Also on that date, the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Labor and FDIC announced new initiatives to protect victims and provide resources for families and communities to prevent abuse. The White House outlined the main goals of these initiatives as the following:

• Protect Children and Break the Cycle of Violence
• Improve Legal Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
• Increase Sexual Assault Arrests and Successful Prosecutions
• Help Victims Regain Housing and Financial Independence

The Hotline CEO Dyanne Purcell and Katie Ray-Jones, Director for The Hotline and loveisrespect, were in attendance at the event, as well as several members of The Hotline’s Board of Directors.

In addition to the October 27th event, there was also the 16th anniversary of VAWA, hosted by Vice President Biden. To read a summary of that event and to see photos, please click here.

To learn more about the memorable occasion, please read The White House summary of the event.

To read the transcript of President Obama’s remarks, please click here.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Shopping for a Cause during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and during this time, we encourage people to take a stand against domestic violence and say we will no longer tolerate domestic violence in our communities. In recognizing that it will take all of us to put an end to domestic violence, Celtic-rock band Apsylon is using their talents to bring awareness to the issue and also help support the Hotline and loveisrespect.

Throughout the month of October, Celtic-rock band Apsylon will donate one hundred percent of all digital album download sales to The Hotline and loveisrespect in an effort to help create awareness about domestic violence and teen dating abuse. Their 2010 debut album, “Dreaming of Yesterday” includes a key track, “Lena,” which tells a harrowing tale of domestic abuse and ends with a plea to end the stigma and shame that accompanies domestic violence. Blending elements of classical, Celtic folk, and rock music, Äpsylon’s album “Dreaming Of Yesterday” is available now on the band’s web site at

Download the “Lena” video.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Inspirational Events

141During Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), many organizations are showing their support by hosting events in honor of victims of domestic violence. This month has been filled with inspirational events and exhibits, buildings illuminated in purple light for awareness, and many fundraising initiatives for victims and survivors. With so many wonderful things planned for this important month, it is hard not to feel inspired. The month is not over yet and there is still plenty of time to do your part locally. The following three events have stood out the most for us, and we hope they inspire you as well.

Empire State Building Tower Lighting

Many buildings across the country have been glowing purple this month in honor of DVAM but one structure definitely stood out. The Empire State Building, one of the most impressive structures in the world, was highlighted in purple exterior lighting in honor of DVAM and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence on October 14.

The State of New York Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has a lot of great information on “going purple” this month. Click here to acces their pdf.

Marshalls Shop ’til It Stops Symbolic Exhibit

On October 1, Marshalls and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) joined forces for an awareness and fundraising campaign as a launch to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.This year, The Hotline was the beneficiary of the Marshalls annual Shop ’til It Stops in-store program which donates $1.00 to the Hotline for each pair of shoes sold at Marshalls between October 1 through October 15.

The program was launched by Laura Leighton and Tim Gunn with the unveiling of a symbolic exhibit created by Marshalls that honored those who take a stand against domestic violence each day. The structure featured facts about domestic violence and inspirational messages from celebrities and was open for consumer experience in Los Angeles and New York at the beginning of the month. For more information on the events, please visit

The Clothesline Project

The Clothesline Project is a program started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It provides women affected by violence an opportunity to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. The shirts are then hung on a clothesline to be viewed by the public as a testimony to the problem of violence against women. Click here to visit the official campaign website and get more information.

The Verizon Foundation had a display of the Clothesline Project at their National Domestic Violence Prevention Summit 2009 Engaging Communities to Help End Domestic Violence which was held in Dallas, TX on September 24, 2009.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Pledge

“Become Inspired—you never know when someone will become inspired by your courage to make a difference.”

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would like to honor the amazing life-saving work being done on behalf of women, teens, children and men who are experiencing violence in their relationships. All across the nation domestic violence advocates, volunteers, friends, families, co-workers, and individuals are extending their hearts and hands to help those in extraordinarily dangerous circumstances from someone who claims to love them. I continue to be inspired by the dedication and commitment to end violence in our communities.

image005I am writing this piece to encourage all of you to find your passion and inspiration! To encourage you to use it to keep making a difference in the world. Many are called to make a difference as I am in my daily work but I had help getting here. Her name is Rochelle and she is my sister. Rochelle has been my inspiration working to end violence against women for the last 25 years. Rochelle (pictured second from the left with sisters Chris, Laurie and myself) has overcome many obstacles, an abusive marriage for eight years, which at its most violent she once felt like taking her own life to get free of the situation. She endured economic poverty which had her working three jobs as a result of her husband’s choice to drag her through an extended legal battle and bankruptcy, all the while being a wonderful mother to a young daughter. She is a self confident, smart, amazing woman who has developed into the most perfect monarch. She went through the metamorphosis from victim to survivor to the whole beautiful woman she was and is meant to be. Her triumph over this tragedy continues to be my inspiration when I am tired or feel weary. My most proud moment was when she spoke of her personal story for the first time at the White House reception upon the 10th Anniversary of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It took courage to leave her desperate situation then and she has pushed through her own challenges to now be courageous in helping other women in shelters and in her workplace to believe in their dreams and to reach their goals. I continue to be grateful for her being alive today to share her story with others and be my muse. I love you Rochelle, and I, like my other sisters, continue our pledge to end violence against women.

If someone inspires you, consider making a donation in their honor

Join me in sharing your story of inspiration

Join our online community working to end violence

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Sheryl Cates
Chief Executive Officer
National Domestic Violence Hotline