Get Involved: Respect Week 2014 is February 10-14!

At loveisrespect, a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, our advocates take calls, chats, and texts from teens who have questions about relationships, and respect is an issue they frequently discuss. In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (teenDVmonth), we hope that you will start conversations with the teens in your life about what healthy relationships look like. Maybe you got things started this past Tuesday on It’s Time to Talk Day, but if not, you still have time – Respect Week 2014 is just around the corner!

Hosted by loveisrespect’s partner Break the Cycle, Respect Week encourages teens and youth leaders to participate in teenDVmonth. From wearing orange to actively engaging your community, here are just a few ways you can help spread awareness of teen dating violence:

      • Download the Respect Week 2014 Guide, created by loveisrespect’s National Youth Advisory Board, for a comprehensive look at information, ideas, and activities for the week
      • Wear orange and be part of the nationwide orange-out on Tuesday, February 11 to help spread awareness of dating violence. Invite your friends to the Facebook event, post a picture and update your social media using the hashtags #teenDVmonth and #RespectWeek2014
      • On Valentine’s Day, ask students to read the National Respect Announcement across your school’s intercom, to your class, youth group or wherever fits best. You’ll raise awareness of teen dating violence and how to end it. You can also spread the word by joining the Thunderclap and sending out the National Respect Announcement to all your social media networks
      • Host an event where you can educate your family and friends about how dating abuse affects one in three teens
      • Keep talking to the teenagers you know and love about healthy relationships

This year, take part and help everyone learn how to build relationships free from abuse. Keep the conversation going and get ready for Respect Week 2014!


February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

TeenDVMonthAccording to loveisrespect, a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in three teens in the US is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a partner. While teen dating violence can happen to anyone, the majority of the violence affects young women. Women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence – almost triple the national average.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TeenDV Month), a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it, and YOU have the power to help! Talk to teachers at your local high school, bring up dating violence at the next school board meeting, and have a conversation with the teens in your life about healthy relationships.

We’ll kick off TeenDVMonth tomorrow, February 4th, with It’s Time to Talk Day. Hosted by Break the Cycle’s Love Is Not Abuse Campaign, It’s Time To Talk Day is an annual awareness day that aims to generate conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. Learn more and pledge your support on the website!

Another great way to get involved this month is to participate in Respect Week, February 10-14, hosted by the loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board (NYAB). Check out the loveisrespect website for more information and to download the NYAB’s Respect Week 2014 Guide.

Everyone deserves safe and healthy relationships. Want to know how to help a young person experiencing abuse? Call our advocates today at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233). Also, find us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated with important resources and information for loved ones who may be experiencing dating violence.

Don’t forget check back with our blog throughout February for more on TeenDVMonth!


I See DV as Unacceptable

Today our special How I See DV guest is Tonya Turner, Director of Legal Services at Break the Cycle. In this position, she oversees the legal services program that represents young domestic and dating violence survivors between the ages of 12-24 in civil protection proceedings and custody matters. Tonya is an expert on LGBTQ dating abuse and has provided key trainings on the issue to law enforcement and the American Bar Association.

blog-posters-ttTonya, can you tell us a little about the service you provide to LGBTQ youth?

I provide holistic legal services to young LGBTQ survivors of dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. I also train young people about healthy relationships so that they can better identify unhealthy or abusive ones.

Why did you get involved with this work?

I believe dating violence, stalking and sexual assault are often normalized and minimized and I wish to help shape a world where dating violence is not acceptable or tolerated.

What sustains you in this work?

The fact that I genuinely believe that helping one person actually makes a difference. I believe the impact of my work can really shape the way young people view relationships and assist them in making healthier choices.

What are some of the unique struggles people in abusive LGBTQ relationships face?

Many LGBTQ teens are not yet “out” to their parents or friends and may be afraid that an abusive dating partner will “out” them to friends or family. Also, many young LGBTQ survivors are afraid to ask for help because bullying or harassment may start or increase.

Many LGBTQ teens also are afraid that they will be not believed or taken seriously. Often adults believe that abuse between LGBTQ partners is always mutual, does not occur in lesbian relationships, or that the abuser is only the more dominate partner.

What would you say to someone who is hesitant to get help about their relationship because they are afraid of getting outed?

I would stress that everyone deserves to be in a healthy and loving relationship. Next, I would discuss their concerns about speaking to their parents. If they are not ready to come out, I would encourage them to safety plan and connect them with LGBTQ resources so that they could get additional support.

How do you define a healthy relationship?

A healthy relationship involves two people who can laugh together, talk about anything, encourage each other and respect each other’s differences. In a healthy relationship, your partner makes you feel like nothing is impossible and they will be right there with you.

We know you were involved with the creation of Can you tell us about that project?

Many LGBTQ people do not feel supported or know their legal rights. Show Me Love was a campaign created to celebrate healthy LGBTQ relationships, and to raise awareness in the LGBTQ community about legal rights and resources available to people in unhealthy or abusive relationships.

Please complete this sentence. I see DV_______.

I see domestic violence not being tolerated as we empower people to have healthier relationships and they stand up and say violence is not acceptable.

About Our Contributor

Tonya Turner is currently the Director of Legal Services at Break the Cycle. In her position at Break the Cycle, Tonya trains Metropolitan Police Department Officers and adult service providers about domestic violence laws that impact young people and how to better help young people experiencing abuse. She has provided substantive and skills training with such programs as the ABA’s Commission on Domestic Violence Custody Institute, the National Institute on Civil Representation of Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Sexual Assault Who Are D/deaf, Hard of Hearing and/or with Disabilities, and Best Practices for Lawyers Assisting Pro Se Victims of DV with Civil Protection Orders. Tonya also does outreach and education on LGBTQ domestic and dating violence. She is a board member of Rainbow Response Coalition (RRC). RRC is actively committed to informing LGBT people in the Washington Metropolitan Area of their legal rights and ensuring that law enforcement officers respond to dating/domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking calls involving LGBT people appropriately. Tonya is also on the advisory board for Show Me Love- a local campaign to raise the awareness, inform survivors in DC’s LGBTQ communities about their legal rights, and direct people to resources about maintaining healthy and violence-free relationships. Tonya received her advanced degree from Rutgers School of Law.

history of the hotline

A Look at the History of The National Domestic Violence Hotline

With all the celebration around the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, we have the chance to look back on the history of The Hotline, which was able to take its first call because of this very legislation. Here are some of our most important dates throughout the past 20 years:

  • September 13, 1994: President Clinton signs VAWA, which authorizes the creation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • August 17, 1995: The Texas Council on Family Violence receives a $1 million grant that establishes The Hotline.
  • February 21, 1996: The Hotline takes its first call.
  • October 28, 2000: President Clinton signs the reauthorization of VAWA, supporting The Hotline.
  • August 2, 2003: The Hotline takes its one-millionth call. The caller is a battered woman looking for shelter. After speaking to a local crisis line and learning that shelters are full, she remembers the number of The Hotline, calls, and an advocate helps her find a place to stay.
  • October 2005: The Hotline concludes its Connections Campaign and raises $2.7 million to build the technological capacity of The Hotline to respond to more calls and provide better service.
  • September 26, 2006: Verizon Wireless offers direct connection to The Hotline through the #HOPE Initiative — dialing #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone instantly connects callers to The Hotline.
  • February 27, 2006: Senator Biden leads a press conference at The Hotline to mark its 10th anniversary. He meets with advocates to talk about the technological improvements designed to help advocates respond to callers more quickly.
  • February 2006: The Hotline reaches the milestone of answering over 1.5 million calls.
  • February 8, 2007: The Hotline and Liz Claiborne Inc. announce the launch of, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH). Today, this is referred to as the National Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH).
  • October 21, 2008: The Hotline takes its 2 millionth call.
  • April 28, 2009: Vice President Joe Biden makes a visit to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect for a press event and tour of the facilities. This is his second visit to the organizations in six years.
  • October 13, 2009: The partnership between Marshalls and The Hotline for the Shop ‘til It Stops campaign officially launches with two fundraising and awareness events in Los Angeles and New York.
  • November 22, 2010: The Hotline ranks in the ‘Top 10 Best Places to Work’ in a report conducted by the Austin American Statesman and Workplace Dynamics. The Hotline is the only social services nonprofit ranked in the top 10 winners.
  • January 27, 2011: The leader of the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell, joins The Hotline to help bring awareness to domestic violence and to celebrate the 15th Anniversary. He joins Dallas Cowboys superstar Jason Witten, baseball great Joe Torre and others to kick off the yearlong campaign.
  • February 8, 2011: The National Dating Abuse Helpline joins forces with Break the Cycle to expand upon This partnership creates the ultimate comprehensive online resource to engage and empower teens through dating abuse awareness.
  • September 26, 2011: loveisrespect announces the nation’s first dating abuse texting service. Vice President Joe Biden premieres the service by sending the first text to National Dating Abuse Helpline peer advocate Whitney Laas.
  • February 21, 2012: The Hotline celebrates its 16th anniversary. At this point, The Hotline currently has about 85 staff members, both paid and volunteer. Of those employees, 12 have been at The Hotline for over 10 years.
  • January 29, 2013: At a special congressional briefing, The Hotline announces they are expecting to reach a milestone nearly one year earlier than predicted — answering 3 million calls since its inception in 1996. While this is not a cause for celebration, it highlights the vital role that The Hotline continues to play in assisting victims of domestic violence.
  • March 7, 2013: President Obama reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, with provisions that extend the protection of Native American women and members of the LGBTQ community.
  • March 8, 2013: The Hotline is the only center in the nation that has access to service providers and shelters across the U.S. Today, The Hotline continues to grow and explore new avenues of service.
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

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

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.


New Partnership Launches Ultimate Healthy Relationship Resource

Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, the Two Most Respected Dating Violence Advocates, Join Forces to Create the Most Powerful Online Healthy-Dating Resource for Teens and Young Adults in the United States,

Feb. 8, 2011 – Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, a project of the National Council on Family Violence, are joining forces to create the most comprehensive online destination to engage, educate and empower teens and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships–

Break the Cycle is the nation’s leading organization addressing dating abuse with more than 15 years of providing training, education, online resources, advocacy and activism. The National Dating Abuse Helpline provides the only peer-to-peer online chat in the country where trained advocates give advice to other teens and young adults.

Teen dating violence is an urgent, silent epidemic. One in three teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship and more than two-thirds of them will never report it to anyone.

“Break the Cycle’s extensive experience serving teens and young adults, in collaboration with the National Dating Abuse Helpline’s one of a kind chat service offers a new nationwide response to dating violence,” said Marjorie Gilberg, Executive Director of Break the Cycle. “This revolutionary partnership will establish as the ultimate online source of help and information for teens and young adults.”

“We are thrilled to launch this innovative partnership and project,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Dating Abuse Helpline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Partnering with Break the Cycle will broaden and enhance services and resources available for the thousands of teens and young adults who contact us at”

A National Advisory Board composed of a diverse group of youth and culturally specific service providers will enhance the partnership by providing feedback on how to best serve teens and young adults. will help teens and young adults, ages 12-24 navigate the spectrum of healthy relationship behaviors. Young people will learn there are options, answers and support available to them every hour of every day. Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline are designing the site specifically for young people, emphasizing confidentiality and trust to ensure teens nationwide feel safe and supported – online and off.


About National Dating Abuse Helpline

The National Council on Family Violence launched the National Dating Abuse Helpline in 2007 with funding from Liz Claiborne, Inc. and serves as an innovative source of support and resources for teens and young adults involved in abusive dating relationships, their peers, parents, teachers and friends. The Helpline offers services to young people across the country who are experiencing dating abuse and are seeking to engage in healthy relationships by utilizing the technologies they use most often: web, chat and telephone. Young men and women can anonymously contact trained peer-to-peer advocates by telephone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-331-9474 or online via live chat at

About Break the Cycle

Break the Cycle believes everyone has the right to safe and healthy relationships. As the leading voice for teens on the issue of dating violence, Break the Cycle advocates for policy and legislative changes that will better protect the rights and promote the health of teens nationwide. Engaging, educating and empowering youth through prevention and intervention programs, Break the Cycle helps young people identify and build healthy relationships. For more information, please visit or call 310-286-3383.

Contact: Susan Risdon at 214-226-6741 or