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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 www.loveisnotabuse.com.

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

In direct response to these new findings, www.loveisrespect.org, 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 www.loveisrespect.org.

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 www.loveisnotabuse.com/web/guest/curriculum.

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 www.loveisnotabuse.com.

About loveisrespect.org

Loveisrespect.org 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. Loveisrespect.org 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.

Loveisrespect.org 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 loveisrespect.org, operating the phone and chat services. The Helpline, originally known as “loveisrespect.org, 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 www.breakthecycle.org.

PRESS CONTACT:

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

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Tornado Warning: Author Shares Her Experience

By Elin Stebbins Waldal

If you have ever experienced a single event which later would serve as the catalyst for you to take action, then it may come as no surprise to you that I owe thanks to Stephanie Meyer, the author of The Twilight Series, because her books provided that very inspiration for me to take action in my own life.

As I sat with the closed cover of Breaking Dawn on my lap in December of 2008, it was clear a seed had been planted inside me. A seed, which soon would germinate, root, and take hold. A seed which two years later would bear fruit in a book — the telling of my story, Tornado Warning, A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life.

Given Stephanie Meyer openly shares with all who visit her website that a dream served as inspiration for her first book, I think it is safe to say that she did not write the Twilight Series as a means to educate young people on the subject of teen dating.

In contrast to the dream that Meyer describes, for me, the 2,739 pages of fiction woke me up to the buried emotions left from the relationship that nearly cost me my life when I was a late teen. That experience has forever left an imprint on me. To this day, I remember what it was like to realize I had lost myself — the essence of who I had been prior to meeting that boyfriend of so many years ago.

No, he was not a vampire with fabulous looks, nor did he have a bank account that was bottomless, or the ability to materialize every time I was in danger. In fact quite the opposite was true. My boyfriend was a human being. He was average to look at, some might even say he had a kind face and sweet smile, but behind those green eyes and dimples was a storm of violence. The danger I found myself in was due to his brutal behavior. His unhappy upbringing fueled a very tortured soul; his response was to possess me. Possession that controls, possession whose power hurts, nearly kills.

Tornado Warning shares with the reader the subtle erosion of self that occurs in an abusive relationship via journal entries of the teen I was. Woven between the journal entries are reflections of my life decades later where I explore with a backward glance the well-worn path I have traveled; from strong teenage girl turned victim, to victim turned survivor, survivor turned mother, mother turned advocate.

Tornado Warning is my voice, and it joins the chorus of the many pioneers who have endured, survived, and freed themselves from the cyclone of abuse. It is now my mission to shine a ray of hope into the lives of those who have been ripped from the very base of who they were. I am living proof that victims of abuse can be survivors, capable of first reclaiming the essence of who they are, then embracing their future and a life free from violence.

About the author: Elin Stebbins Waldal is the author of Tornado Warning, A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life (Sound Beach Publishing, 2011, $14.95). She is an inspirational speaker, writer, and the founder of Girls kNOw More, an organization dedicated to building confidence in middle school girls. She is also a Love Is Not Abuse Coalition California State Action Leader working to pass legislation that would require schools to teach dating violence awareness curriculum. Elin lives in Southern California with her husband Jimmy, three children, and their family dog.

Signed copies of Tornado Warning are available through her website at www.elinstebbinswaldal.com.

announcement

Parents of Murdered Dating Violence Victims, Advocates and Legislators Unite To Fight For Education To Prevent Dating Violence

National coalition responds to recent tragic death of University of Virginia student Yeardley Love and urges parents to push for teen dating violence education legislation

New York, NY – May 5, 2010 – Today, advocates for teen dating violence education are calling on parents nationwide to take action and urge potentially life-saving legislation mandating teen dating violence education be required in their states. The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, loveisrespect.org, Seventeen Magazine and the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) are joining forces through Liz Claiborne Inc.’s ‘MADE’ — Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse — to ensure that every middle school and high school in every state across the country teach a curriculum about preventing dating relationship violence and abuse each year.

Currently, only four states, Rhode Island, Texas, Ohio and Nebraska, have passed strong laws requiring school districts to have a dating violence policy to address incidents of dating violence at school. Just last week, Florida legislation successfully passed that calls for teen dating violence education to be included in health curriculum for 7th-12th graders and for school district boards to adopt and implement teen dating violence policies.  Legislation is pending in ten additional states where NFWL’s women legislators and MADE advocates have been working together, but only a handful of those legislative bills are considered comprehensive, mandating updated curriculums and teen dating violence education policies.

Across the country, parents who have tragically lost their children to dating violence are making their voices heard and pushing for legislation which has been stalled or has not even been introduced in their states. Ann and Chris Burke, educators and parents of Lindsay Ann Burke who was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend, spearheaded efforts in Rhode Island to pass the “Lindsay Ann Burke Act.” Gary Cuccia in Pennsylvania is actively fighting for the “Demi Brae Cuccia Act” which is awaiting a vote in the Senate and Bill and Michele Mitchell in Maryland have been working tirelessly to strengthen the policies in House Bill 845, “Tween and Teen Dating Violence Education.” Women legislators are supporting these parents.

“It is time for all parents to make the commitment and address teen dating violence as a serious health issue,” said Ann Burke.  “I want to show all parents and teachers that having legislation passed is possible. I want to see teens in all 50 states educated on this issue.”

“Education is the key to preventing teen dating violence,” said Sheryl Cates, CEO of loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. “Parents, friends and family members need to be aware of the warning signs of an abusive dating relationship and know where to turn for resources and help before the violence escalates to a fatal incident. Controlling behavior, verbal and emotional abuse, threatening texts and emails, isolation, hitting, pushing and slapping are all warning signs of a troubled relationship.”

“It is only through education and awareness that we will be able to combat teen dating violence and our elected women who have introduced bills are 100% committed to fighting for strong and effective legislation that will protect the teens and tweens they serve and honor the memories of the young victims who had no idea what teen dating violence was before they lost their lives to it,” stated Robin Read, NFWL’s President and CEO.

“Our recent survey shows that although 75% of teens who have been taught about dating abuse say it has helped them recognize the signs of abuse, only a quarter of the teens have ever taken an actual course,” said Jane Randel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for Liz Claiborne Inc. “In the wake of so many recent tragedies, it is becoming increasingly clear that something needs to be done – and that something is education. Curricula, such as Love Is Not Abuse, teach young adults to recognize the signs of abuse and how to seek help – whether they are victims themselves or watching someone else suffer. Teaching these lessons in our schools will save lives.”

“The statistics of girls in abusive relationships are shocking: 23% of our readers have dated a guy who has made them feel afraid, and 70% of girls say that they wouldn’t break up with an abusive boyfriend if they loved him,” said Ann Shoket, Editor-in-Chief, Seventeen Magazine. “Yeardley’s tragic death should be a wake up call to all girls that they need to learn how to recognize the warning signs of a dangerous relationship before they get hurt.” A few warning signs include, he gets angry when guys give you attention or when you want to do things without him; he says it’s your fault when he says hurtful things to you and he tries to control where you go, or what you wear or do.
About Loveisrespect
National Domestic Violence Hotline launched loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline in 2007, to serve as a source of support and resources for teens involved in dating abuse relationships, their peers, parents, teachers, and friends. loveisrespect offers new and innovative services to teens across the country who are experiencing dating abuse and those who are looking to engage in healthy relationships by utilizing technologies that teens use most often: the telephone, web, and chat. 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 www.loveisrespect.org to chat (IM style).

About the National Foundation For Women Legislators, Inc. (NFWL)
Through annual educational and networking events, the National Foundation for Women Legislators supports women legislators from all levels of governance.   As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, NFWL does not take ideological positions on public policy issues, but rather serves as a forum for women legislators to be empowered through information and experience.

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. www.loveisnotabuse.com.

Seventeen
Seventeen (www.seventeen.com) is the best-selling monthly teen magazine, reaching more than 13 million readers every month. In each issue, Seventeen reports on the latest in fashion, beauty, health and entertainment, as well as information and advice on the complex real-life issues that young women face every day. Readers can also interact with the brand on the digital front, with Seventeen mobile (m.seventeen.com). In addition to its U.S. flagship, Seventeen publishes 13 editions around the world. Seventeen is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) and one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, with nearly 200 editions around the world, including 15 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom, published through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst Magazines is the leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation (ABC, Dec. 2009) and reaches 73 million adults (MRI, Fall 2009).
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PRESS CONTACT:
Susan Risdon
Tel: (512) 492-2405
redmedia@ndvh.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

It’s Time to Talk Day Encourages Greater Public Dialogue About Domestic Violence

It's_TIme_to_Talk_logo_squareLiz Claiborne Inc. is launching its sixth annual It’s Time to Talk Day on December 3. This day will be dedicated to encouraging Americans to speak-up about domestic violence. Individuals around the country will engage in conversations about the issue including government officials, talk radio, domestic violence advocates, businesses, schools and the general public.

Liz Claiborne Inc., will partner with experts in the field including MTV, loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, Seventeen, Talk Radio News Service, Joyful Heart Foundation and more. Please visit loveisnotabuse.org  for more information or for ideas on ways to get involved.

timetotalkphoto
Julie Stevenson (far right), is Chair of the annual “A Day to Shine” fundraiser benefitting loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. She will be participating in It’s Time to Talk events today. Also pictured and participating in events are National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline CEO Sheryl Cates (far left) and Judge Jeanine Pirro (center).