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: loveisrespect.org.

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.

Loveisrespect.org 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.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

What Makes Someone Speak Out Against Domestic Violence?

Have you often wondered what makes a person speak out against domestic violence? Is it because they themselves or a family member were abused by an intimate partner? Or did they see the injustice that the abused face and want to speak out to offer support and help?

Out of the 17 members on our 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee, eight were either abused themselves or they had a family member who was abused in a relationship. The other nine were moved through events in their careers and by people in their lives who have helped them see the glaring threat that domestic violence poses to our families.

There are many ways someone can use their voice against domestic violence. Many individuals have started blogs to get information out on exactly what domestic violence is, and to supply resources for those needing help. Some bloggers are survivors of domestic violence and want to tell their story in hopes of reaching someone who is going through the same situation.

Others, like members of The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee, have created public service announcements to spread awareness on the issue.

Quite a few musical artists have used their talents to express their feelings, whether through writing songs about domestic violence or using music videos to reach people. Two local musicians who are using their voices on behalf of victims are AJ Vallejo of the Austin-based band Vallejo and Jacob Gonzales. They produced an acoustic version of Rihanna’s song, “Umbrella” for SafePlace in Austin. The cover is a stirring rendition and contains statistics and pictures in the video that highlight the facts of domestic violence. Through their music, AJ and Jacob want to ensure that people know how prevalent domestic violence is in our country and that there is help for those who need it.

Another group who is using their talents to bring awareness to domestic violence is Y&R Chicago, a creative firm that aims to bring attention to worthy causes. This group expressed their admiration for The Hotline, and independently created “It Rarely Stops,” a PSA with haunting imagery, to bring to light the cyclical nature of domestic violence. The video includes the moving lyrics of “Mercy Street” performed by Peter Gabriel, who donated the rights to the music for the use of the video. Y&R feels the silence of the victim, her voicelessness, is the very thing that makes the spot powerful – and therefore speaks so loudly to its audience.

The Celtic-rock band Apsylon has been supporting The Hotline by donating proceeds from the download of their debut album, “Dreaming of Yesterday,” to The Hotline and loveisrespect. They were also inspired by our 15th Anniversary Love Is campaign to produce a PSA for the campaign.

However you choose to use your skills to help those being abused, we thank you and applaud your efforts to make sure everyone knows help is available and that they are not alone. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is confidential and anonymous and takes calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

It’s Time to Talk: Awareness Day Brings Much Needed Attention to Domestic Violence

Every year, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds a media day called It’s Time to Talk Day. The day includes opportunities for print and radio outlets to generate a dialogue about domestic violence. Last year, the event was held in New York City on December 8 at the Liz Claiborne headquarters, where showrooms were transformed into “Talk Radio Row,” allowing talk shows hosts to broadcast programs throughout the day with special guests from various domestic violence organizations, corporations and foundations.

Two advocates from The Hotline and loveisrespect attended the events and participated in the Radio Row interviews to bring awareness to the issue and to ensure that people know there is a place to call for help. In addition to advocates speaking out, celebrities such as Tim Gunn and actress Stephanie March took part in the 7th annual It’s Time to Talk Day.

A special screening of the documentary “Telling Amy’s Story” was held prior to ITTTD as a kick-off of the day. Our advocates who attended share their recollections of the event:

From Melissa Kaufman, Volunteer and Training Coordinator for The Hotline and loveisrespect

Our whirlwind trip to New York City started with a viewing of “Telling Amy’s Story,” the documentary from Verizon which follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred on November 8, 2001. The viewing was emceed by the co-host of the Today show, Meredith Vieira, and we were able to visit with Meredith and a few others before entering the theater to watch the film.

After the movie was over, we exited the theater into the freezing cold NYC night and walked back to our hotel to get some rest before our next adventure. The following morning, we woke up at 5 a.m., got ready and walked to the Liz Claiborne headquarters for the annual It’s Time to Talk Day. The only people out that early with us on our walk were the street vendors preparing for the day and delivery drivers. We spent the next three hours at Liz Claiborne talking to advocates and experts in the domestic violence field and conducting interviews with a panel of radio hosts and bloggers. It was pretty exciting to be surrounded by the amazing women and men who are doing such tremendous work around teen dating abuse and domestic violence.

So much awareness still needs to be raised around this issue and I hope our time there helped spread the word about the help that is out there for victims at The Hotline and loveisrespect.

From Diane Perez, Hotline Advocate

This year, I had the great opportunity to attend the Liz Claiborne’s It’s Time to Talk Day, which started with a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story” the evening before. I had already seen the documentary but regardless how many times you see it, it’s still just as powerful each time. Meredith Vieira with NBC’s Today emceed the screening, and shared with everyone there that she was a survivor of domestic violence in her college years. I thought it took a lot of courage to tell her story because with domestic violence there is always a lot of shame involved. Meredith sharing her story was powerful because it really speaks to the reality that domestic violence does not discriminate against anyone from any background, and that domestic violence is not just a poor community issue but that it is an epidemic in our country. The next day at the It’s Time to Talk Day event was just as powerful with so many people involved in sharing their voices and speaking up about domestic violence.

Information is power and as long as we keep educating and speaking out, we can shine a light on something that can often times be very isolating and lonely.

To learn more about It’s Time to Talk Day, please watch the video below.

It’s Time to Talk Day from Elizabeth Davies on Vimeo.

Photos from the event:


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National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

President Obama Signs Legislation Aimed at Preventing Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

The Hotline was directly impacted by a piece of legislation signed December 20 that reauthorized the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act  (CAPTA). CAPTA provides federal funding to states, which is then distributed to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for programs and projects supporting a variety of goals necessary for eliminating family violence. FVPSA, a provision of the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984, helps fund family violence state coalitions and more than 2,000 domestic violence shelters and safe-houses.

Lynn Rosenthal, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, wrote a powerful post on the White House blog describing the event. Please read that article here. She described the experience of being present during the signing:

This afternoon, I stood in the Oval Office and watched as President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which includes the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA.)  As he signed this crucial bill into law, the President was surrounded by Senators and Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, and national advocates who work every day to end domestic violence and child abuse.

CAPTA helps The Hotline support the victims who reach out to us for guidance and protection. As an organization, we are extremely grateful to the government support we’ve been given to continue providing these life-saving services.

Rosenthal concluded her post with this moving remark:

Thanks to the bi-partisan work of members of Congress who were with us today, CAPTA and FVPSA will help end abuse, give hope to victims, and provide families with the help they need. As we gathered in the Oval Office, I was thinking of the many abuse survivors I have met over the years. Thanks to CAPTA and FVPSA, their future looks brighter.

To learn more about CAPTA, please click here.

To learn more about FVPSA, please click here.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Limited Brands Lights up the Holidays

For nearly a decade, Limited Brands Inc. and their associates have participated in the Holiday Giving Tree program, which helps families who are temporarily residing in family violence shelters in communities where Limited Brands operates stores. Associates in Limited Brands home offices and stores have the opportunity to adopt families and fulfill wish requests made by residents. As part of the project, The Hotline helps connect the stores with shelters across the country. Last year, associates touched more than 29,000 lives through the Holiday Giving Tree program.

Limited Brands also runs a similar program in the spring called Adopt-a-Mom, which encourages people to donate items for mothers who are in shelters and may not be remembered on Mother’s Day. In 2010, more than 16,000 families were helped through this program.

We are proud to partner with Limited Brands in this spectacular effort to bring cheer to thousands of lives every year and lift the hearts of those working with victims. As one shelter representative said, “The compassion and support of others makes the difference. Knowing that others care, people that these women do not even know, warms their hearts and gives them just that much more strength to overcome the difficulties that are in front of them.”

Earlier this year, The Hotline honored Limited Brands Inc. for their commitment to victims of domestic violence and the community by presenting them the Vital Link Volunteer Achievement Award. Hotline celebrity board member Martina McBride presented the award to Janelle Simmons, Director of Community Relations and Philanthropy for Limited Brands, at a press conference before a rousing concert in Columbus, Ohio.

We thank Limited Brands Inc. for raising the standard of corporate responsibility by supporting their associates in community volunteerism that helps save lives and rescue families. We thank Limited Brands Associates for being the wonderful, generous people they are.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act Passes U.S. Senate and House

Last week the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) as part of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). This bill ensures The Hotline will continue answering calls from victims of domestic violence from across the country and that domestic violence shelters providing support to victims and their children when fleeing abusive homes will continue to exist. The passage of FVPSA/CAPTA by both the Senate and House demonstrates bipartisan agreement that safety of women, children and men is a priority. We look forward to President Obama signing the bill into law.  Learn more.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Denise Brown Releases “Love Is” PSA

We add to our “Love Is” public awareness campaign with the release of a public service announcement from a member of The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee, Denise Brown.  This video is one in a series we will be releasing throughout our year-long commemoration of the 15th Anniversary.

Denise has been an informed and outspoken advocate for ending domestic violence since the murder of her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson.  In 1994, she was called to Washington to testify for the historic Violence Against Women Act, which led to the creation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and many other programs to help victims of domestic violence.  She cares deeply about improving the quality of living for those who are threatened with domestic violence.

Stay tuned in the coming months for more in the series of public service announcements for our “Love is” awareness campaign.

Find out more about our 15th Anniversary campaign and Denise Brown.


National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Light Up The Holidays for Families Affected By DV

National Domestic Violence Hotline Light up the HolidaysThis holiday season, join us in lighting up the holidays for those families affected by domestic violence.

The holidays should be a time for family and friends to share the joy and hope of the season. For those experiencing abuse, however, December can also be a particularly stressful time. Domestic violence doesn’t stop for the holidays and the added pressures of holiday expectations can worsen an already unhealthy situation. This year, help those living with abuse to know that they’re never alone, especially during the holidays.

One call to The Hotline brings compassion, courage, and a connection to help. Your donation can give a victim the gift of a new beginning and a brighter New Year.

Join us in creating a community of hope for everyone taking the courageous step to call for help over the holidays.  When our phones light up at The Hotline, we want to ensure a caring voice is available to offer help.  Let’s light up the holidays for callers by giving them the gift of life and hope this holiday season.

Thank you for all you do for victims, this season and every season.

There is still time to order your Love. Dignity. Respect. shirts for the holidays.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Gives Thanks

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with family, giving thanks for loved ones, eating a home-cooked meal and enjoying all that life has to offer. During this holiday, we at The Hotline pause to give thanks and show gratitude for the following:

  • That those affected by domestic violence find the courage and strength to make that first call for help to 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • That elected officials understand the serious situation that domestic violence victims find themselves in and are working to help end domestic violence.
  • For partners and donors’ support and dedication in helping The Hotline be a vital link to safety for thousands of victims each month.
  • For advocates who give selflessly to each caller and are a voice of hope and safety as they journey toward a life free from violence.

Not everyone will have an easy holiday. Some will not be home, but instead seeking safety and refuge at their local family violence shelter. You can make these families’ holidays brighter by reaching out to your local family violence program this season. There are many ways you can help:

  • Volunteer your time at a local family violence program
  • Donate your professional skills (i.e. legal services, administrative, medical, hairstyling, etc.)
  • Organize a food drive or toy drive through your church, club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.
  • Donate gifts for adults and children. Some programs even provide opportunities for residents to pick and give gifts to their children.
  • Adopt a family at your local program
  • Donate your gently used clothing items. Programs use these items for residents who flee with only the clothes on their backs. Some also have resale shops and accept donations of clothes, toys, books, etc.

Keep watching the website for our “Light Up the Holidays” series, discussing how you can help those affected by domestic violence this holiday season. And from everyone at The Hotline, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Ranks in the Top 10 Best Places to Work in Texas

The National Domestic Violence Hotline was honored to rank in the top 10 best places to work in a 2010 report conducted by the Austin American Statesman and Workplace Dynamics, a company with expertise in employee engagement. The Hotline is the only social services nonprofit ranked in the top 10.  “We are honored that our employees find satisfaction in our workplace and believe in our mission, ethics, leadership and values,” said CEO Dyanne Purcell in response.

The evaluation for the Top Workplaces program is based upon feedback from anonymous employee surveys. The surveys were then analyzed for the results and came up with a list of the Top 75 Austin-area employers.

Read more about the recognition.

Click here to read more about employment at The Hotline.