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 www.apsylon.com.

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 thehotline.org.

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

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Take Time to Observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month

141With October approaching, domestic violence advocates across the nation are preparing for the 22nd annual observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Whether you are a professional in the field of domestic violence or someone who is new to the cause, we hope you will take a few moments during October to consider the issue and remember those whose lives are affected by it.

Beginning as a Day of Unity observation in October 1981, the observance grew into the first domestic violence awareness month in October 1987. The current year’s observance is especially hopeful due to the appointment of Lynn Rosenthal as the first-ever White House advisor on violence against women. This appointment marks the changing attitude from domestic violence as a silent epidemic to a societal issue for which everyone shares a responsibility.

Programs across the nation will focus their efforts on celebrating the strength and courage of those who have been affected by domestic violence and hosting educational programs to raise public awareness of the issue.