A Man Can

On January 4, The Hotline was honored with a visit from sportscaster James Brown, host of CBS Network’s “The NFL Today” and representatives of The Verizon Foundation is support of his A Man Can campaign.

“Domestic violence is an epidemic in all of our communities,” Brown said.  “That deepened my personal commitment and desire to help end domestic violence.  It’s my hope that millions of men join me in this campaign.”

Through this campaign, Brown is promoting respect and equality – respect for yourself and in your relationships — and he’s asking men to be informed and be appropriately proactive when they witness disrespectful or abusive behavior.

“I’m here to encourage men and help them understand that they can have a very meaningful impact, much more easily than they think,” Brown said.  “Don’t laugh at that inappropriate joke.  Second, don’t condone domestic violence with your silence.  If you know someone who is abusive – physically, verbally, emotionally or financially – you as men can play a positive role, just like the coach of a team, and be helpful in changing behavior.  This campaign will build awareness around the issues of domestic violence prevention and the resources available for helping those experiencing domestic violence and those who perpetrate it.”

Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation, said: “Domestic violence knows no boundaries.  It affects men and women, every race, every culture and all socioeconomic levels.  That’s why a very important part of this campaign is educating men and women on how to help someone in need.  That means referring people in need – men and women who are experiencing domestic violence – to resources that can help them live a violence-free life. Verizon welcomes this partnership with James Brown, whose leadership and commitment have helped elevate domestic violence prevention in our national dialogue.”

During the visit, a film crew documented Brown’s tour including conversations with Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones, listening on Hotline crisis calls, a discussion group, and a one-on-one meetings with a survivor to further educate himself on the issues of domestic violence. The final video of documenting Brown’s Experience is available below and on YouTube.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Regional Town Hall on Engaging Men and Stopping Violence Against Women

Townhall The Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones and Youth Advisory Board Member Angela Garcia-Ditta from Austin participated in a town hall meeting convened by Vice President Joe Biden in Dallas on October 25, 2011. The two served on the panel, fielding questions from audience members around the issue of domestic violence, especially as it’s seen on college campuses. Students from several local Texas universities were in attendance.

Vice President Biden convened town hall meetings in 10 states across the country to focus on domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The goal was to get more men involved in speaking out against dating abuse and domestic violence.

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


Katie Ray-Jones Named President, Sheila Marlow Named New Chief Advancement Officer

June 21, 2011 – The National Domestic Violence Hotline is pleased to announce Katie Ray-Jones has been selected to serve as President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline.  Katie has served a Director of Operations for the Hotline since 2009.

As a member of the National Task Force to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and in her role as Hotline Director, Katie has made several visits to key congressional offices and is well known on Capitol Hill as a representative of the Hotline and Helpline.  Katie has distinguished herself as a leader with prominent individuals in the national domestic violence movement and with national domestic violent groups and has represented the Hotline at several key national domestic/dating violence and gender-based violence meetings.

Katie also has extensive experience working with survivors of domestic violence.  She has managed an emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing programs, nonresidential services for survivors and their children, 24-hour hotlines, services for individuals with HIV/AIDS, housing for families who are homeless, case management programs for children who have been abused and neglected, and a therapeutic preschool for children who have witnessed violence.  She has also worked at a legal clinic that provided assistance to victims of domestic violence who were seeking restraining orders and other types of legal advocacy, provided individual therapy and facilitated groups for survivors and abusers and worked for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission administering funding to family violence providers throughout the state of Texas.

“Katie is truly a remarkable leader and we are thrilled she has taken the helm to lead this organization,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  “Her knowledge and insight to the dynamics of domestic violence have impressed White House staff, U.S. Government officials and Hotline corporate partners.”

Katie has a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of San Diego.  Katie is married and has two wonderful children, George and Maximillian.

The Hotline is also excited to announce that Sheila Marlow has joined the National Council on Family Violence as the Chief Advancement Officer.

Sheila will oversee the marketing, communications and development departments for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Dating Abuse Helpline and the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Sheila is originally from Dallas where she worked for accomplished agencies like The Dallas Opera, Texas Woman’s University, and most recently Big Brothers Big Sisters.  She is a skilled professional who brings with her an extensive fund raising experience to the agency.

Ms. Marlow’s development experience has resulted in millions of dollars raised for organizations including: The Dallas Opera, The Science Place, The Dallas Arboretum, and Gilda’s Club North Texas.  After completing a $55M capital campaign at Texas Woman’s University, she went on to serve as Vice President of Community Relations for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Sheila’s many volunteer commitments have included: serving on the Board for the Promising Youth Alliance, the Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP: 2007 DFW AFP Conference, Dallas host co-chairman for 2007 AFP International Conference, Committee member National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, and External Affairs Committee for the International Association of Fundraising.

“The National Council on Family Violence is pleased to have Sheila join our amazing team.  She has a proven track record of success and in these tight budget times and an ever increasing demand for our services, it is critical we have a talented professional who can help the Hotline and Helpline raise valuable private sector dollars,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day, with assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline receives about 23,500 calls each month and has answered over 2.3 million calls during 15 years of service to victims of domestic violence.

Angela Hale

A Presidential Commitment to Ending Domestic Violence

“The bottom line is this: No one in America should live in fear because they are unsafe in their own home – no adult, no child. And no one who is the victim of abuse should ever feel as though they have no way to get out. We need to make sure that every victim of domestic violence knows that they are not alone; that there are resources available to them in their moment of greatest need. As a society, we need to ensure that if a victim of abuse reaches out for help, we are there to lend a hand.”

–President Obama

On October 27th, President Obama and Vice President Biden recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month with an event hosted at The White House. With the East Room filled with advocates, policy makers, politicians and other dignitaries, the President discussed the work being done by the administration on behalf of domestic violence victims, particularly economic provisions that help survivors financially reconstruct their lives.

Also on that date, the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Labor and FDIC announced new initiatives to protect victims and provide resources for families and communities to prevent abuse. The White House outlined the main goals of these initiatives as the following:

• Protect Children and Break the Cycle of Violence
• Improve Legal Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
• Increase Sexual Assault Arrests and Successful Prosecutions
• Help Victims Regain Housing and Financial Independence

The Hotline CEO Dyanne Purcell and Katie Ray-Jones, Director for The Hotline and loveisrespect, were in attendance at the event, as well as several members of The Hotline’s Board of Directors.

In addition to the October 27th event, there was also the 16th anniversary of VAWA, hosted by Vice President Biden. To read a summary of that event and to see photos, please click here.

To learn more about the memorable occasion, please read The White House summary of the event.

To read the transcript of President Obama’s remarks, please click here.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Violence Against Women Act Turns 16

National Domestic Violence Hotline Director Katie Ray-Jones and Hotline CEO Dyanne Purcell at the reception.Last week, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a reception at their home at the Naval Observatory to mark the 16th anniversary of VAWA and The Hotline and loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline were honored to be a part of the celebration.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was a landmark piece of legislation that in addition to other great achievements, created the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Then-senator Joe Biden was the chief author of the 1994 legislation and has been instrumental in supporting not only The Hotline, but also working to end violence against women and girls.

We thank him and the other legislators responsible for VAWA for their hard work on behalf of victims. Please read the article that ran on the White House blog to learn more about VAWA.

(Pictured: Katie Ray-Jones, Director for the Hotline and loveisrespect, and Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the Hotline and loveisrespect at the reception.)

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

What You Can Do Series Addresses Domestic Violence


Katie Ray-Jones, Operations Director for the National Domestic Violence Hotline recently participated in an online interview with On the Leesh Productions for their What You Can Do Series. The Series hopes to prove that our greatest issues are solvable one minute at a time. The interview focused on many interesting issues related to domestic violence including misunderstandings about domestic violence, unreported cases and statistics.  Please click here to read the whole interview. They also have created a really informative and thought provoking PSA about domestic violence, based on the one minute concept. Statistics used in the video were provided by The Hotline. Please click here to view the PSA.

On the Leesh Productions is a New York City based company devoted to the production of innovative, energetic and challenging film, theater, webseries and instructional video.


Capital Metro Partners with The Hotline for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1, 2009—Austin, TX—Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background, and one of the most chronically underreported crimes. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. For this reason, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and Capital Metro have partnered to raise public awareness about the issue by advertising The Hotline number on the sides of three buses.

“The Hotline is the first step to safety for many families in crisis. Since Texas generates the second highest number of calls to The Hotline and Austin is the state capital and our home base, teaming up with Capital Metro made sense,” said Katie Ray Jones, Director of The Hotline.

The signs feature The Hotline toll-free number, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), and the toll-free text telephone (TTY) number, 1-800-787-3224, with a statewide statistic: 74% of Texans are affected by domestic violence. One hundred Hotline signs in English and in Spanish are inside one-third of Capital Metro’s bus fleet. Together, the signage will reach approximately 33 percent of the transit authority’s ridership.

“Capital Metro cares about the safety and well-being of its passengers on and off the bus,” said Fred Gilliam, Capital Metro President/CEO. “We are pleased to work with the National Domestic Violence Hotline in raising awareness of domestic violence among the thousands of Central Texans that ride our transit system every day.”

Until the establishment of The Hotline, access to help was a major barrier for victims of domestic violence. Today, there are more than 5,000 local domestic violence programs in the United States providing a wide range of services including shelter, legal assistance, counseling, emergency transportation and more. “Knowing who to call is only one barrier; victims of domestic violence need to know what their options are for protecting their safety and the safety of their children. A single national toll-free number offers the most effective means of support for victims to learn about their options, gather information and receive referrals to resources in their local communities,” added Jones.

The Hotline provides anonymous and confidential life-saving support, crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through a toll-free confidential call center which operates in 170 languages through interpreter services.


Patty Gonzales, Communications Manager
(512) 685-6366 (Office)
(512) 809-3729 (Cell)

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

Share Your Voice

About a year ago, we had a vision of creating a space where survivors and people who are interested in the cause of domestic violence could share opinions and ideas on current events. Today, we are making that vision a reality with the creation of “Share Your Voice”, a blog that will feature guest authors who will write on various topics related to domestic violence. We will also present the opportunity for comments to be posted. The topic of domestic violence will often create a heated discussion. Our hope is that this will be a place where we can all share our ideas and thoughts in a respectful manner, as well as feel free to voice our disagreements. We hope to have little moderation over comments, because we believe this community will be able to moderate itself. However, we will remove comments we deem to be inappropriate.

My husband grew up in community where violence was prevalent. His mother left his father when he was a very young child. Although he has no actual memory of his father, he does remember hearing yelling and screaming while his father was abusing his mother. He has told me that when he was growing up and would see a father and son together, he would feel envious. He has also told stories about how he needed to learn to fight at an early age in order to protect himself. When I first started working in the field of domestic violence, which was over ten years ago, I remember sitting in a training and the trainer was covering “Characteristic of a Batterer” and talking about children who witness violence, cultural norms, etc. I remember thinking, “my partner has some of these characteristics”. So, I began to think, how did we get so lucky? How is it that my husband didn’t follow that behavior? What characteristics does he have that allowed him to stop the cycle of violence?

Well, my husband had positive male role models in his life. These men were coaches, his playmates’ fathers and most significantly, three young men from his neighborhood, who let a young boy, follow them around, play football with them in the street and hang out with them each summer. They helped him dream big dreams, they challenged him and although they pestered him as young kids do, they taught him respect. They are all grown up now and all are fathers themselves, but are still connected.

My husband worked against the odds and I know I am truly blessed to have found him. Now, that we are parents ourselves, we work on a daily basis to ensure our son has a nurturing, loving home environment. We want our son to respect all people and know that violence is never okay. At the same time, we want to teach him how to be confident and assertive. We question ourselves daily about whether or not we are saying or doing the right things. As parents, we are aware of how our behaviors impact our little one and that his eyes and ears are aware of our actions and words.

At the National Domestic Violence Hotline, we dream of a day when our services will no longer be needed and the phone will stop ringing. It is my personal hope that someday, I will be able to tell my grandchildren what I used to do and they will have no idea what domestic violence is. Perhaps, as we continue this blog, we will begin to see more people join our cause, share their stories and together we will eliminate domestic violence!

– Katie Ray Jones, Hotline Operations Director