National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Welcomes New Operations Director, Norma Mazzei

Norma Vicenta Mazzei has joined The Hotline team as Operations Director. Ms. Mazzei has worked in the field of domestic violence andsocial services for more than 16 years. Mazzei has been part of several exciting and dynamic organizations that have focused on bettering communities during this time. Mazzei is a passionate and active advocate for families affected by abuse and families that are at-risk and embraces this role with deep commitment.

During her tenure in these organizations, she has had the opportunity to be the director of several dynamic domestic violence programs and appreciates the responsibility of leading programs as well as the staff.

Her expertise includes management of several successful domestic violence shelters, transitional housing programs, domestic violence hotlines and counseling programs and working with domestic violence in the military. She also has extensive experience in contract monitoring, compliance, development of policies and procedures, oversight and management of databases, as well as program research and evaluation.

Mazzei was also the first program director for the highly successful Domestic Violence Response Team that began in 1997 in Chula Vista, California, which currently responds to over 1400 calls a year.  She also has extensive experience working with at-risk youth in homeless shelters and groups homes as well as providing case management to youth and families. Mazzei is bilingual and bi-cultural in English and Spanish and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Glamour Campaign

Thank you to the Avon Foundation for Women for their recent matching gift of $200,000 as part of GLAMOUR magazine’s TELLNOW Campaign. The gift, along with the text  donations from the campaign, will go towards ensuring calls to The Hotline that previously would have gone unanswered are not able to be answered by a live caring voice. Last year, over 80,000 calls to The Hotline went unanswered due to a lack of funding.

Verizon has also joined in the campaign and during Domestic Violence Awareness Month will encourage their employees to make online and text donations to The Hotline to help ensure that every call is answered.

Because of partners such as GLAMOUR, the Avon Foundation for Women, and Verizon – it is our hope that when a victim of domestic violence reaches out for hope, they receive a live caring voice on the other end of the call who can provide hope and help to lead a life free from violence. 

Text TELLNOW to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline that helps us increase the number of calls we are capable of answering.

A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Message and data rates may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. By participating you certify that you agree to the terms and conditions, that you are 18 yrs or older or have parental permission, and have authorization from the account holder. Donations are collected for the benefit of National Domestic Violence Hotline by the Innovative Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at Privacy policy: Text STOP to 85944 to stop; Text HELP to 85944 for help.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

In October of 1981, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence organized a “Day of Unity.” On that day, thirty years ago, advocates from across the country joined together in their commitment to end domestic violence. The “Day of Unity” evolved into a full week of activities designed to promote awareness, and that week gradually progressed into the Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The first official Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held in October of 1987; it preceded the launch of the National Domestic Violence Hotline by nearly a decade. The Hotline was fortunate to enter into such a rich tradition, and year by year, we are honored to provide a platform for some of the most important voices in the movement: survivors, advocates, friends, and families. Every year, Domestic Violence Awareness Month holds a special place in our hearts. Its mission mirrors the mission that we strive to uphold 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: to give hope and a voice to those who have been affected by domestic violence across the nation. To date, the Hotline has held space for over 2.5 million voices, and we continue to receive over 22,500 calls per month.

On October 4th, the Hotline has the privilege to join the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in the 2011 National Call of Unity. Much like the “Day of Unity” thirty years ago, the National Call of Unity continues in the vital tradition of honoring those affected by intimate partner violence across the nation and uniting the advocates working on their behalf. We will hear from Kalyn Risker, founder of SAFE: Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment, as she shares the story of her own incredible journey. Then, following a collective moment of silence, artists Sunni Patterson and Asia Rainey will share a dramatic recitation they have prepared for the occasion.

In addition, this month we celebrate with The National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle, who just launched the new now offers 24 hour advocacy for those experiencing dating abuse, and we are excited to announce that help is now available via text! On September 27th the service was first used by Vice President Joe Biden, and on September 28th this breakthrough was featured on “The View.” The website is also full of new features and information, including new segments for those in the LGBTQ community, those seeking legal assistance, and those experiencing digital abuse.

Thank you so much for your support – past, present, and future – of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and It is an honor to serve those affected by domestic and dating abuse, and it is to our continued delight that we are able to share in this work with you.





Katie Ray Jones
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Dating Abuse Helpline

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

17th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women’s Act

National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Dyanne Purcell and Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones joined Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden in Washington D.C. for the 17th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act yesterday. Other leaders in the domestic violence movement were also in attendance to celebrate the achievements of VAWA, which was first passed in 1994 in the efforts to better protect victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The Violence Against Women Act was a landmark piece of legislation that in addition to other great accomplishments, created the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Then-senator Joe Biden was the chief author of the original legislation and has been instrumental in supporting not only The Hotline, but also working to end violence against women and girls.

“The Violence Against Women Act is the cornerstone of our nation’s response to domestic violence, providing lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence and their children,” said CEO Dyanne Purcell. “We praise Vice President Joe Biden and his leadership on this critical issue to ensuring victims of domestic violence and their children have a national hotline to call for help and that a nationwide network of domestic violence services will be there when families reach out for help.

See Dyanne’s pictures of the event below:

Read the White House blog post on the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act to learn more about this occasion.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

43% of Dating College Women Have Experienced Violent and Abusive Dating Behaviors

A new survey reveals dating violence and abuse to be surprisingly more prevalent among college students than previously believed. Nearly half of dating college women (43%) report having ever experienced violent or abusive dating behaviors, and more than one in five (22%) report actual physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence. Despite the high number of students experiencing these types of abuse, more than one-third of college students (38%) say they would not know how to get help on campus if they found themselves in an abusive relationship.

The survey, “Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Love Is Not Abuse 2011 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” was conducted by Knowledge Networks to address the lack of data on dating violence and abuse among college students and to increase the understanding of this problem on college campuses nationwide.

According to dating violence expert, Dr. Karen Singleton, Director of Sexual Violence Response, a program of Columbia University Health Services, “This survey expands on earlier reports and reinforces the complexity of the issue.” Among the findings are:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) college women report having been a victim of an abusive dating relationship in her life.
  • 57% of students who report having been in an abusive dating relationship indicate it occurred in college.
  • 52% of college women report knowing a friend who has experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, digital, verbal or controlling abuse.
  • Further, 58% of students said they would not know how to help if they knew someone was a victim.

“The findings of this survey prove that colleges and universities need to provide a more comprehensive response and additional creative educational programs to address dating violence and abuse,” said Jane Randel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc.

The survey findings were released today, during a forum to educate students about sexual assault prevention and survivor assistance at American University.

The full report of survey results can be found at

National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle Respond to the Urgent Need for Education

In direct response to these new findings,, a partnership between the National Dating Abuse Helpline and leading teen dating violence prevention organization, Break the Cycle, is launching an initiative to target college students with new, relevant resources to address the issue of dating abuse.

The expanded online content includes: Take Action (information on how students can get involved on their campus), Stay Safe (safety planning designed specifically for college students) and Help a Friend (information to assist bystanders). The survey shows that 57% of college students say it is difficult to identify dating abuse – substantive evidence of the need for increased education and awareness.

“It is our hope that with these targeted college resources, we can help increase knowledge about how students can combat the issue and ultimately, help prevent the prevalence of dating abuse and violence among students,” said President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline, Katie-Ray Jones.

The resources are available, free online at

In addition, Liz Claiborne Inc. has created a college dating violence curriculum called Love Is Not Abuse, designed to help students deal with dating violence and abuse on campus. The first college curriculum of its kind, Love Is Not Abuse educates students about the dangers and warning signs of dating violence, offers lessons specifically on abuse via technology and provides resources where college students can find help on campus.

The Love Is Not Abuse curriculum was created by a task force consisting of educators and domestic and sexual violence experts from Columbia University, George Mason University, the University of Kansas, Virginia Community College System, Northern Virginia Community College and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) following the May 2010 murder of University of Virginia student Yeardley Love.

The Love Is Not Abuse college curriculum is available online, free at

Survey Methodology

Liz Claiborne Inc. commissioned Knowledge Networks to conduct quantitative research among students enrolled in four-year colleges (ages 18 – 29). The sample for this study came from the Knowledge Networks probability-based online panel, KnowledgePanel®. Online data collection took place between September 29 to December 27, 2010. A total of 508 college students (330 women and 178 men) were surveyed.  The final sample was weighted using the Census Bureau school enrollment benchmarks for age, gender, race/ethnicity and geographic region based on the October 2009 Supplement of the Current Population Survey. It is statistically representative of all 18-29 year-old college students in the United States, with a margin of sampling error of ± 5.4 percentage points.

About Liz Claiborne Inc.

Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence. Through its Love Is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools that men, women, teens and corporate executives can use to learn more about the issue and find out how they can help end this epidemic. Visit them at

About is a collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline. Combining resources and capacity, together they are reaching more people, building more healthy relationships and saving more lives. is designed to:

  • Create the ultimate resource fostering healthy dating attitudes and relationships.
  • Provide a safe space for young people to access information and help in an environment that is designed specifically for them.
  • Ensure confidentiality and trust so young people feel safe and supported—online and off. is the ultimate resource to engage, educate and empower youth and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships.

About the National Dating Abuse Helpline

The National Dating Abuse Helpline is the direct service provider behind, operating the phone and chat services. The Helpline, originally known as “, 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. They train these young leaders to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers.

About Break the Cycle

Break the Cycle engages, educates and empowers youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence. Break the Cycle believes everybody has the right to safe and healthy relationships. Whether it’s teaching young people about the warning signs of abuse, safety planning or how to navigate the legal system, Break the Cycle gives teens and young adults the tools they need to live safer, healthier lives. Each year, Break the Cycle reaches more than one million youth nationwide. Visit them at


Amy C. Terpeluk
Tel.: (212) 583-2792
Cell: (917) 826-2326

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

We’re Partnering with Glamour and Avon to End Abuse

We have an exciting new campaign with GLAMOUR magazine and the Avon Foundation for Women to raise money for The Hotline and increase awareness about domestic violence. We are thankful for both organizations and their commitment to end domestic violence and empower our advocates who answer the phones.

GLAMOUR has generously lent their website to displaying critical information to their readers about the issue and our new campaign.

This innovative partnership has already gained attention. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, longtime domestic violence advocates, gave an exclusive, heart-wrenching GLAMOUR interview about the issue and The Hotline. Below is an excerpt:

GLAMOUR: You’ve been working on this issue for more than 20 years now. Do you ever get discouraged?

DR. JILL BIDEN: Several times [on the campaign trail] a woman would say, “You know my sister would be alive today if we’d had VAWA sooner.” It’s just story after story.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: So when you ask, “Do you get discouraged?” No, I get angry. This is about one woman at a time. I think the scariest thing, the thing that makes my stomach just sink, is knowing how alone in a crowd these women are. [An abusive relationship] is worse than being in prison. I mean literally, not figuratively.

We will be sharing more information soon. We encourage all of our friends and readers to become involved.

Text TELLNOW to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline that helps us increase the number of calls we are capable of answering. In a beautiful act of generosity, the Avon Foundation for Women has volunteered to match every dollar you donate up to $200,000. A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for the National Domestic Violence Hotline by Reply STOP to 85944 to stop. Reply HELP to 85944 for help. For terms, see


Molly Maid – Creating Safer, Healthier Homes

Ms. Molly Foundation Since 1996, Molly Maid has raised over 1 million dollars to support the Ms. Molly Foundation, which provides assistance to over 110 domestic violence shelters across the country. The need to help has continued to grow over the years, as franchise owners see the impact domestic violence has had not only on its customers, but also among Molly Maid employees.

Danessa Itaya, chairperson on the Ms. Molly board of directors, says that a mission of the Molly Maid Foundation is to have their employees get involved in the community. Each franchise participates in various activities throughout the year, but most of the awareness and activities are focused in October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. These grassroots efforts include silent auctions, charity concerts, car washes and chili cook-offs, to name a few.  Danessa also states that over the years, customer donations have increased by 50 percent, as more and more customers see the need for shelter services and want to give back to their communities.

Molly Maid also educates their customers by including information on domestic violence on their website, in-home materials and through social media.

We applaud Molly Maid, their employees and customers for taking a stand against domestic violence. To learn more about their work,  please visit the Molly Maid Foundation website.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Survey Shows Domestic Violence Services Provided in One Day in the U.S.

In the United States on September 15, 2010, three women were murdered by their intimate partners, 36 babies were born to mothers living in domestic violence shelters and 391 survivors started new jobs. Three men committed suicide – one after murdering his wife, another after a failed attempt to kill his girlfriend, and the third after holding his partner hostage and a standoff with the police. With astonishing numbers such as these, a person can’t help but wonder— how many domestic violence services are used per day in the United States?

A survey recently released by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) reveals telling information about the status of domestic violence services in the U.S. NNEDV conducts this study once a year to provide the public with a snapshot of what family violence programs across the U.S. see in their shelters on one particular day. From those programs that participated, the survey shows how many calls local hotlines received, what services programs were able to offer and any needs that went unmet due to a lack of resources.

The study revealed that on September 15, 2010, 91 percent of identified domestic violence programs in the U.S. participated in the 2010 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. During the 24-hour period, domestic violence victim advocates served more than 70,000 adults and children and answered more than 20,000 emergency hotline calls. During the same 24 hours, more than 9,000 requests for services went unmet, largely due to lack of funding.

Though the economy does not cause domestic violence, factors associated with economic uncertainties can increase the severity and frequency of abuse. At the same time, options for survivors to escape can be more limited. More than 80 percent of local domestic violence programs reported an increased demand for their services while nearly the same number reported decreases in funding.

The full results of the National Domestic Violence Counts 2010 are available online at

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Fifteen Years of Saving Lives

Fifteen years ago today, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received its first call for help from a father seeking help for his daughter who was in an abusive relationship.

Advocates answer the phone lines at The Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, working tirelessly to be a source of help, comfort and hope for all victims of domestic violence. Advocates understand that every call can potentially save a life. And because many Hotline advocates have themselves been victims of domestic violence, they understand the importance of a live voice on the line and the ability of The Hotline to connect callers to life-saving resources in their own communities.

When then Senator Joseph R. Biden and Senator Orrin G. Hatch co-authored the Violence Against Women Act, they could not have imagined that the historic legislation which created a national, toll-free hotline for victims of domestic violence would have 15 years later resulted in over 2.5 million calls for help to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

We are grateful for the many partners who understand the vital need for The Hotline to be a beacon of help and hope to every caller – the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, local family violence programs, domestic violence coalitions and the many corporate, foundation, government and individual partners who have supported us over the years. We thank you all for your past and continued support in helping to reach the millions of women, men and children who seek to live a life free from violence.

There is more to be done in raising awareness of The Hotline as a vital resource to victims, their family, friends and other caring individuals. Many celebrities, including Salma Hayek, Martina McBride and Jason Witten have joined their voices with ours to raise awareness of The Hotline as a resource. Actress Marlee Matlin is the latest member of our 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee who is helping us reach out in our public awareness campaign.

Please visit our 15 year timeline to learn more about the valuable work that has been done over the last 15 years.

The Hotline is a source of help and hope and we will be here for you.

To make a donation to The Hotline, please visit our Donate page.

Please join us on Twitter and Facebook to get involved and follow the campaign.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

1 in 4 Callers surveyed at the Hotline Report Birth Control Sabotage and Pregnancy Coercion

The Hotline recently conducted a survey of callers to learn about the extent of abuse called “reproductive coercion.” Reproductive coercion is defined as threats or acts of violence against a partner’s reproductive health or reproductive decision-making.

The survey found that 25% of the 3,169 callers who agreed to participate in the survey reported that they had experienced this form of domestic and dating violence. Callers reported that their partners would not allow them to use birth control or sabotaged their birth control method by poking holes in the condoms or flushing pills down the toilet. Some callers even reported having to hide their birth control. This type of sabotage leads to unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and can be used as a trap to control their partner. These abuse patterns were apparent in callers’ comments, such as:

  • “I better be pregnant, or I’m in trouble with him.”
  • “He refuses to use a condom. I’ve bought them and he throws them out.”
  • “He has tried to talk me into having a child. He told me he wanted to keep me from leaving him.”
  • “He admitted to me and the psychologist that he intentionally got me pregnant to trap me.”
  • “My sister was 14 years old when she became involved with this abusive guy, and when she was 15 his mother wanted grandkids so he coerced her into getting pregnant.”

The survey questions and response rates were as follows:

  1. Has your partner or ex-partner ever told you not to use any birth control (like the pill, shot, ring, etc.)? – Of the 3169 callers who responded, 25% said yes.
  2. Has your partner or ex-partner ever tried to force or pressure you to become pregnant? – Of the 3166 callers who answered this question, 25% said yes.
  3. Has your partner or ex-partner ever taken off the condom during sex so that you would become pregnant? – Of the 3103 callers who responded, 16% said yes.
  4. Has your partner or ex-partner ever made you have sex without a condom so that you would become pregnant? – Of the 3130 callers who responded, 24% said yes.

As a result of this study, The Hotline is focusing on training advocates on how to identify and support callers who experience reproductive coercion.

Read our press release to find out more about the study.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

New Partnership Launches Ultimate Healthy Relationship Resource

Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline announced today that they are joining forces to create a powerful and comprehensive online destination to engage, educate and empower teens and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships:

Break the Cycle has provided training, education, online resources, advocacy and activism for teens and young adults for over 15 years.  The National Dating Abuse Helpline first started taking online chats and calls in February 2007. With these two groups joining forces, teens and young adults will have one comprehensive site that gives them resources, articles, chats and all the information they need to make informed decisions about their relationships. posted a video that talks more about the partnership or you can read the press release for more information.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Sports Stars Tackling Domestic Violence

The Hotline is proud to welcome three well-respected sports figures to The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee —  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl Tight End Jason Witten and baseball great, Joe Torre. These three men join a diverse group of celebrities working together on a year-long “Love Is” campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence and get the message out that help is available through The Hotline for those in abusive relationships.

The “Love Is” campaign features public service announcements from numerous celebrities, as well as Love. Dignity. Respect. T-shirts, with proceeds going to The Hotline.

Read more about the newest members of the Honorary Committee here.