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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

Follow us on Twitter or add us on Facebook

Peace,

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Sheryl Cates
Chief Executive Officer
National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Buy Shoes at Marshalls and Benefit the Hotline

marshallsBuying a pair of shoes at any Marshalls store between October 1 and 15, 2009 will benefit the Hotline. As part of the Marshalls Shop ’til It Stops program, $1 will be donated to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for each pair of shoes sold during this period (up to $150,000).

For the past 18 years, Marshalls has raised millions of dollars and generated tremendous awareness in an effort to help put an end to domestic violence in the United States through their annual Shop til it Stops program. This year for the first time, the National Domestic Violence Hotline will benefit from this program. Be sure to visit Marshalls to support us!

Attention GFWC members: Have fun shopping for our cause!

announcement

Meadows and H-E-B Answer Emergency Call for Funding

May 7, 2009—The Meadows Foundation, Dallas, and H-E-B, San Antonio, have donated $639,000 in 2009 for direct services to aid Texans seeking emergency assistance because of domestic violence.

The Meadows Foundation has awarded a total of $364,000 since January in emergency grants to domestic violence agencies, including $175,000 which will be used for the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) in Austin. H-E-B has announced a special grant of $100,000, which includes $25,000 for the Hotline and $75,000 for shelter programs in communities served by H-E-B. Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) will distribute community funds.

“These generous donations come at a time when the demand for services is increasing and many donors are scaling back philanthropic giving because of the depressed economy,” said Sheryl Cates, CEO of the Hotline and TCFV.  “It is a tribute to these two organizations that they have recognized and responded to a call for help so that vulnerable families will have somewhere to turn for help. Reports of increased demand for services at domestic violence shelters are being heard from many communities in Texas, and Hotline calls in the first quarter of 2009 are up significantly over 2008, with March up 43 percent. When families are under stress, incidents of abuse increase, resulting in increased calls to the Hotline and requests for safe shelter for families.”

Over the last five years, The Meadows Foundation has contributed approximately $3.1 million to 29 domestic violence service providers throughout Texas. “We recognize that domestic violence agencies are struggling this year to serve as many families as possible, even in the face of budget and staff reductions,” said Bruce Esterline, Vice President for Grants. “Because of the great need, our foundation will continue to review requests for emergency funding throughout 2009.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities it serves, H-E-B strives to earn, build and maintain a positive relationship of trust, creating a tradition of caring that has come to be known as H-E-B’s Spirit of Giving. Winell Heron, group vice president of public affairs and diversity for H-E-B, said the company’s contributions program has been prioritized this year for direct services to families to help with basic needs, and this statewide gift was conceived as a way to reach many communities in a coordinated effort. “H-E-B prides itself in ‘helping families here,’ and we are deeply grateful to the staff of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and domestic violence shelters throughout the state for working so hard this year, under very challenging circumstances, to protect women, children and families.”

“The combination of $225,000 from The Meadows Foundation and H-E-B will help keep the Hotline service available to thousands more Texans,” Cates said. “We have estimated that as many as 44,000 Hotline calls could go unanswered if fundraising goals are not met, and Texas represents our second-highest state in call volume. We are extremely grateful for the support of The Meadows Foundation and H-E-B.  It is an outstanding example of corporate responsibility toward our communities.”

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The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), is part of the National Council on Family Violence headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a confidential 24/7 Hotline, established by Congress and funded by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The confidential service provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. Additional information may be obtained at www.ndvh.org or by calling 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 800-787-3224.

H-E-B was founded in Kerrville, Texas in 1905 with a single grocery store. For more than 100 years, H-E-B has been an innovative retailer known for low prices, fresh food, quality products and convenient services. The company has grown to more than 300 stores in Texas and Northern Mexico, with more than 70,000 employees. It conducts a wide range of efforts geared toward helping the community and the environment. H-E-B is one of the largest food chains in the United States, with annual sales more than $15 billion, and is the largest privately held company in Texas.

Contact:
Patty Gonzales, Communications Manager
(512) 685-6366 Office
pgonzales@tcfv.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Increased Financial Stress Affects Domestic Violence Victims

National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) data released today suggests a link between financial stress and domestic violence. For victims who called the national Hotline during the six week study, 54 percent reported a change in their household’s financial situation in the past year.

NDVH CEO Sheryl Cates said the study was developed in response to both an increase in anecdotal information from callers about how the economic downturn has affected their family, and questions from news media all over the country who asked whether the increase in the demand for Hotline, residential and non-residential services was related to the economy.

“Hotline calls in the third quarter of 2008 were up significantly over 2007, with September up 21 percent,” Cates said. “From what we were hearing on the calls, we believed that there was a link, but needed data to be sure.”

From November 12 until December 31, 2008, 32,316 Hotline calls were received, with 7,868 callers participating in the study. Of those, 54 percent (3,272) answered yes to the question “Has there been a change in your household’s financial situation in the past year?”

Sixty-four percent also answered the second question affirmatively, which was “Do you believe the abusive behavior has increased in the past year?”

“This increase in call volume comes at a time when private donations to the Hotline have decreased significantly,” said Cates. “About 35 percent of our budget is private funds from corporations, foundations and individuals. Given our current capacity and the current call volume, we project as many as 44,000 Hotline calls could go unanswered if we do not reach our funding goals.”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Hotline Launches Million Voices Campaign

In October, NDVH will officially launch the Million Voices Campaign to End Domestic Violence in partnership with the General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC). The two-year long initiative aims to bring together more than 1 million individuals who hope for a country free from domestic violence and want to create change by engaging their communities through volunteerism and public awareness activities.

“The launch of the Million Voices Campaign will address what has long been missing in domestic violence services prevention: an organized national effort driven by dedicated volunteers raising their voices against domestic violence,” said NDVH CEO Sheryl Cates. “Together we will make history and in so doing, we will raise the standard for domestic violence prevention in America.”

The program will launch with a formal reception at the GFWC headquarters in Washington, D.C. on October 9, 2007.

“As a Founding Member, the GFWC is promoting the Million Voices Campaign among our 145,000 members and will encourage a large scale effort of volunteerism on a community basis,” said Jackie Pierce, president of GFWC and an advocate for domestic violence prevention.

Nannette White, chair of the GFWC Domestic Violence Committee, is working with state chairpersons and regional leaders to enroll GFWC members individually in the campaign and volunteer activities.

NDVH urges individuals and organizations to join this unparalleled effort by visiting www.ndvh.org/million. Members are asked to share their contact information with NDVH and agree that: domestic violence must be stopped in America; they will speak out against domestic violence and tell friends, family and co-workers about the Hotline as a source for help.

The Million Voices Campaign encourages members to educate, inform and raise awareness about domestic violence prevention and services in their communities. Free educational materials and various resources will be provided on the campaign website to help volunteers spread the word. Membership is free, but anyone who wishes to donate to the campaign can do so online.

All members receive an official membership card as well as e-mail news updates and invitations to major campaign events. A major goal of the campaign is to create a sense of community online, where members can share volunteer ideas, strategies to engage local communities and their own personal experiences with domestic violence.

Domestic violence must end in America. The Million Voices Campaign will be the Hotline’s first major initiative to demonstrate that individuals and organizations across the country are committed to seeing that end.

announcement

Verizon Wireless Offers Direct Connection To National Domestic Violence Hotline Through The #Hope Initiative

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – In times of danger, domestic violence victims need access to resources that will provide assistance, and are easily accessible and secure.  Verizon Wireless encourages any victim or anyone looking for information on the issue to dial #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone.  Callers will be instantly connected to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for professional and confidential help. The call is toll and airtime free.

“We see about 1,500 calls to #HOPE each year, driving home the importance of wireless phones for domestic violence victims who use wireless technology to connect to the help they need,” said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. “For the past 10 years, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has served as a safe haven for people touched by domestic violence, and Verizon Wireless is proud to provide our customers with this resource to get help and information.”

#HOPE is a service available across Verizon Wireless’ nationwide wireless network through the company’s HopeLine® phone recycling program. Customers simply dial the keys (#4673) plus the send key to be directly connected to the National Domestic Violence Hotline where they can receive the help they need through empowerment-based crisis intervention, information and resources. Since 1996, the Hotline has answered 1.5 million calls and responds to 17,000 calls on average each month.  More than a simple toll free number, the Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can provide its services in more than 140 languages at 1-800-799-SAFE or on the web at www.ndvh.org.

“Since its inception, the Hotline has become the vital link to safety for victims of domestic violence and their families, with call volume increasing over 200 percent over the past ten years,” said Sheryl Cates, chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  “#HOPE from Verizon Wireless brings increased access to the Hotline and a valuable sense of security to those in need by enabling them to quickly and easily use their wireless phones to connect to resources for safety and independence.”

#HOPE is one initiative in Verizon Wireless’ long-standing commitment to domestic violence prevention through the company’s HopeLine program.  HopeLine collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally sound way. Proceeds from the HopeLine program benefit victims of domestic violence and non-profit advocacy agencies, providing essential communication tools of wireless phones and wireless services, and financial grants.

For more information about Verizon Wireless’s HopeLine program, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
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About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation’s most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.  To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Debra Lewis
Verizon Wireless
908.559.7512
Debra.Lewis@VerizonWireless.com