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National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

RHOBH: What Kyle Sees Isn’t What Taylor Gets

Last week’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills episode “Otherwise Engaged” showed a particular moment that we’d like to discuss.

Kyle and her husband Mauricio attended a dinner thrown by Taylor and Russell. While a dinner between friends is common enough, there appeared to be a discomfort between the two couples. One of the reasons for this was shared by Kyle’s voice-over as she walked into the Armstrong’s home.

“Taylor will tell us things that make us not like Russell. That’s very difficult because then when we see him, he’s very polite and seems to be a nice person. It’s very confusing for everyone.”

As the viewer watching this, we know that Taylor will later come forward about Russell abusing her.

This situation between Kyle and Russell is very typical.

Often, abusive partners can be well liked by family members and friends of the victim. This is because friends and family might not see the abuse happen, and they may only ever see the kind side of the abuser.

If you find yourself in a situation like Kyle’s, know that it’s ok to be conflicted. You may like the person and not like their behaviors. It’s ok to question your feelings towards them.

We do want to point out that if you are rude or hostile towards the abusive partner, this can be used against your friend (the victim). The abusive partner can say things like, “What did you tell your friends?” or “Have you been talking about me behind my back?” and then use this situation against the person they are abusing.

Be mindful of how your actions or statements can be used to fuel the abuse.

This moment on RHOBH was significant for us because it seemed to be a red-flag moment for Kyle. She recognized that things weren’t adding up. We encourage you to call The Hotline if you need help reaching a friend experiencing abuse.

Did you see this episode? Did this moment catch your eye? Will you be tuning in tonight?

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On the Lines- loveisrespect, September 2010

My caller was 15 years old, in her first dating relationship. A friend of hers had sent her a link in a Facebook message: “Does Your Relationship Need a Make-Over?” She had taken the quiz, and the results were a little disturbing for her.

She told me that her boyfriend was pretty cool in front of other people, but he got jealous easily. He got angry and called her names when she talked to other guys at social events. He went through her phone to see who she had called and texted. He threatened to dump her if she hung out with her guy friends, but he would throw or punch things if she mentioned breaking up with him.

“My friend is protective and hates the way my boyfriend treats me, but I never thought much of it until I saw it in black and white on the quiz. I just thought this was how dating was supposed to be.”

I told my caller that she didn’t have to put up with controlling behavior in order to be in a relationship; she deserves to be treated with respect.  We talked about the dynamics of a healthy relationship and some of the red flags in her relationship.

“Thanks,” the caller said at the end of the call. “I’m glad my friend sent me that quiz, but I’m really glad that I called. It’s good to know that I have options.”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

RHBH: Taylor Shares Fears About Marriage With Friends

Photo courtesy of BravoTV.com

In last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we see the end of the trip with the housewives to Camille’s ski property. In a conversation between Taylor and Kyle, Taylor shared the anxiety she was experiencing about her failing marriage. A combination of altitude, wine and feelings seemed to overwhelm Taylor as she broke down and displayed emotions ranging from anger to paranoia and depression.

The other ladies showed concern for Taylor, asking her to talk about her situation and offering her their thoughts on her situation. After a moment where Taylor succumbed to tears, Adrienne piped up, “Sometimes two separate happy homes are better than one miserable home.”

From what we have heard of Taylor’s interview on Entertainment Tonight and from watching Taylor struggle on this episode, we know there is something majorly wrong in her relationship. In last week’s episode, she expressed that she was scared, and last night, she confirmed that she was afraid for her child.

Here are moments of this episode that we’d like to point out:

  • When Taylor says she’s scared, the other housewives don’t ask her to clarify. They never directly confront what is making her afraid.
  • Hotline Help: If a friend opens up to you and uses a word like “scared,” “afraid,” “nervous,” “intimidated” and other red flag words, it’s ok to ask for more information. You can ask, “Do you feel safe in your relationship?”.
  • Alcohol seemed to fuel Taylor’s candor. Consuming alcohol can be seen as a coping behavior and may be another red flag.
  • Hotline Help: If you see a friend reach for the bottle whenever he/she discusses their unhealthy relationship, point out this behavior to them when they are sober. It may sound like, “Hey, I’ve noticed you mostly talk about your relationship when you’re drinking.” Let them know that you want to take the opportunity to talk without alcohol present.
  • Kyle didn’t talk about Taylor’s situation when she had reunited with her husband Mauricio because she didn’t want him to think that she didn’t have a good time on the trip.
  • Hotline Help: If you ever are worried about a friend, it’s ok to use the people in your life as your sounding board. If your friend’s behaviors are striking you as off or concerning, talk about it with someone else and air your concerns. Silence might perpetuate your friend’s suffering.
  • It can be hard to know what to say to a friend in need. Make sure you stay away from areas of victim-blaming. This exchange perked our ears:
    Lisa: “Don’t you really feel that maybe you really deserve better than the way you’ve been treated. Really?”
    Taylor: “I think I don’t believe that. “
    Lisa: “That’s the problem, isn’t it?”
    While Lisa was trying to help, her approach placed the guilt on Taylor, making Taylor believe that she had done something wrong.
  • Hotline Help: No one chooses to be in an abusive relationship or wants the abuse to continue. Remember to be supportive and non-judgmental. Respect your friend’s decisions and do not criticize them. Remember that it’s easier to talk as an outsider looking at the relationship than the other way around.
  • This was an emotional trip for the housewives. As they returned home, especially in light of what Taylor had shared, we were concerned that no one asked her the crucial question, “Do you feel safe going home?”
  • Hotline Help: After a friend shares that they worry about their safety, or the safety of a child, address their physical needs by asking if they feel safe to go back to the house.

Are you ready to have the conversation? If you need help or would like more information about how to support a friend or family member, please contact us at The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Love Is…Knowing the Signs of Abuse to Help Yourself or a Friend

In October we launched The Hotline’s 15th anniversary with the debut of our “Love is” campaign. This campaign is aimed not only at raising awareness to our issue, but also ensuring people know they are not alone and help is available.

One component of raising awareness is ensuring people recognize the signs of domestic violence. Everyone needs to know what it is and how to spot it happening in their lives or in the lives of their friends.

Remember: Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It happens to all races, ages, sexual orientation, religion or gender. Is domestic violence something that only happens between married couples? No. While domestic violence does apply to married couples, it can also occur between people who are living together or who are dating.

We hope that by discussing what love is, we can help show what love is not – any form of abuse. Please join us in our campaign by telling us what you believe love is and by remembering these warning signs that you – or someone you know – may be in an abusive situation.

• Your partner humiliates you or puts you down
• Your partner makes you feel bad about yourself
• Your partner controls what you do, who you see, who you talk to, where the money is spent
• Your partner prevents you from getting or keeping a job
• Your partner tells you it is your fault he hurts you and if only you wouldn’t make him act this way
• Your partner uses the children to make you feel guilty or threatens to harm the children if you do not do what he says.

Also, remember we’re always here to talk at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). You are not alone. There is hope and there is help.

Additional info:

Be Smart. Be Well. “Domestic Violence: What Is It??”

announcement

Judge Jeanine Pirro, Host of “Judge Pirro,” Joins Forces With NDVH to Promote An Educational Initiative Against Domestic Violence

Chicago, IL and Austin, TX — Emmy® nominated Judge Jeanine Pirro is teaming up with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) to launch an educational initiative about domestic violence prevention through her one-hour daily syndicated court program, “Judge Pirro.”  Pirro’s goal is to bring more attention to this nationwide crisis in conjunction with the NDVH, the national non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline has received more than two million calls from abused women and families in crisis over the past 15 years.

In the upcoming 2010/2011 season, Judge Pirro will incorporate safety tips and action plans and provide resources within the show as well as on the show’s website, judgejp.com.  In order to aid in the eradication of domestic violence, “Judge Pirro” will raise awareness about what constitutes emotional, physical and sexual abuse and will work to provide numerous resources that are available to those who may be in unhealthy relationships. In November 2009, “Judge Pirro” produced an entire episode focused on the domestic violence issue and provided the NDVH toll free number on the show.  As a result, the Hotline saw a 25% increase in call volume. Both the show and the NDVH see this partnership as a natural fit for their shared goals.

“I know true justice will not be done until we understand that our obligation doesn’t end with punishing the abuser.  We must also reach out to heal the victims,” said Judge Jeanine Pirro.

“When I started as a prosecutor, a man could shoot, stab, beat or brutalize his wife with no consequences.  A woman could not charge her husband with rape. These were not considered crimes.  There was a flawed notion that violence and rape in the home were beyond the reach of the law, protected by a family’s right to privacy.”

Pirro continued, “The public has to be educated about domestic violence. Every time a victim is ignored, or a criminal goes unpunished, or violence is excused, our society erodes further.  It becomes harder, meaner, and more violent.  Without redress, victims become despairing and embittered; often they exact their price by victimizing others. We all understand the cycle of violence.”

“We are honored to partner with Judge Pirro and raise awareness about domestic violence because education is the key to preventing family violence,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Parents, friends and family members need to be aware of the warning signs of an abusive relationship and know where to turn for resources before the violence escalates.”

Judge Jeanine Pirro was the first female County Court Judge elected in 1990 and Westchester’s first female District Attorney in 1993.  Throughout her political and legal career, Pirro crusaded to change laws in order to protect women and children. From successfully starting the first domestic violence unit in the nation to tenaciously fighting for a level playing field for women, children and the disenfranchised, Judge Pirro has used her insight, education, and professional experience to make a difference in the lives of many.  Pirro is constantly called upon to be a legal commentator and guest host on national cable and broadcast news outlets because and her profound insight of topical news stories that grip the nation every day.

Judge Pirro is an active member of the National Domestic Violence Hotline Celebrity Board and is joined by actress Salma Hayek and singer Martina McBride.

About “Judge Pirro”:
“Judge Pirro” (syndicated, check local listings) is produced by Telepictures Productions and originates from Chicago.

About The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline, headquartered in Austin, Texas, 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. Additional information may be obtained at www.ndvh.org <http://www.ndvh.org> or by calling 1-800-799-7233.

Contact:

Laura Danford Mandel
Senior Vice President, Publicity
Telepictures Productions
646-728-4845
laura.mandel@warnerbros.com

Jessica Fielder
Publicist
“Judge Pirro”
646-638-5702
jessica.fielder@telepixtv.com

Susan Risdon
National Domestic Violence Hotline
512-492-2405
redmedia@ndvh.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Domestic Violence: Medical Records Can Sound an Early Warning

The following blog entry is written by Nancy Fliesler. It originally appeared on Thrive, Children’s Hospital Boston’s health and science blog. It is being featured on our blog with permission.

Domestic abuse often goes undiagnosed until too late — yet medical records often contain subtle clues that doctors often lack the time to fathom out. Now, researchers from the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program and Division of Emergency Medicine demonstrate that tapping commonly available electronic health records could help doctors spot abuse early. This display, designed for physicians, pulls a patient’s diagnostic history into one view, sounding an alert when the pattern of visits suggests possible domestic abuse.

Each colored bar above represents a diagnoses recorded in the patient’s chart, grouped by category, during the four years before her abuse diagnosis; the most recent diagnoses are shown at the bottom. The color coding denotes the degree of abuse risk, calculated using data from the study (green, low risk; yellow, medium risk; red, high risk). As indicated by the blue “detect” arrow, the system would have sounded an alert as early as 34 months before domestic abuse was actually diagnosed.

In the future, the researchers hope that their models can detect when a person is at risk for abuse before abuse even occurs. Although the study, published in the British Medical Journal, was done in adults, the plan is to validate the model in children, too, and to develop similar models for conditions that are often missed, like depression and early-stage diabetes. According to Ben Reis, PhD, who led the project, such “intelligent histories” are an important step toward the larger goal of predictive medicine — helping busy physicians not by making diagnoses for them, but by offering a decision support tool that can flag patients who merit specific screening.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Did MSNBC Miss an Opportunity to Educate the U.S. on Domestic Violence?

digitaljournal.com by Nikki W, July 31, 2008

Recently, Christian Bale was in the news for a domestic violence incident. A bit run on the Today Show sparked some discussion by the National Domestic Violence Helpline over concerns that the aired story was not balanced. Did MSNBC miss an opportunity?
Domestic violence is an epidemic that continues to spread across the globe. In the United States alone, statistics show that “1 in 5″ adults admit to being a victim of domestic violence where “6 out of 10″ adults say they know someone who has been a victim. Although the difference between the two is huge, at 40 per cent more people knowing victims than those who actually admit to being victims, it is a problem that clearly needs national and global attention.
A recent story about actor, Christian Bale, who was reportedly charged with verbal assault after losing his temper with his mother in a London hotel room just prior to the premier of his movie The Dark Knight has set into motion some very important information regarding domestic violence.
As in the alleged case of Bale, those who have a temper can create quite a problem for the loved ones around them. In a FOX News story from last week, Bale was said to have been defending his wife’s honour to his mother and apparently lost it:

“Christian’s attitude is that this was his mother’s fault because she became very provocative in an argument they were having, the source said. “Things got out of control and he now says he wishes he just left the room. Christian was stressed, but he didn’t lay a finger on anyone. Instead, he flew off the handle and cussed his mother. He just got very loud because his mother was saying some very outrageous things about him, and his wife.

“He has stresses in his marriage,” the source [also] said. “He can have a terrible temper. Instead of lashing out at his wife, he sometimes lashes out at people around him.”

Then again on July 22nd, MSNBC’s the Today Show ran a spot on the incident. However, the televised clip appeared to be more about diverting any possibility of abuse and focused on minimizing the verbal abuse accusation. There was even a clip from a fan stating that this was likely just parental jealousy!

Domestic violence doesn’t know jealousy in that manner. It doesn’t know socioeconomic status or educational backgrounds. It isn’t only bruises or choking. It is the projecting of one’s temper onto another individual, blaming someone else for their violent outburst. And Domestic Violence isn’t just a private matter. It is the responsibility of those around to shed light on its ugliness. With “2.6 Million” injuries and 1,200 deaths every year in the United States due to this preventable problem, when a news story has an opportunity to educate the nation on the basic information associated with domestic violence and does not, isn’t is a missed opportunity to help in its prevention?

Watch the video clip and decide if a balanced representation was given. Decide on your own. If you want, let them know how you feel by emailing them at today@nbc.com.

What is Domestic Violence? Here are a few warning signs:

Does your partner ever:

Embarrass you with put-downs?

Look at you or act in ways that scare you?

Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?

Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?

Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?

Make all of the decisions?

Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?

Prevent you from working or attending school?

Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?

Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?

Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?

Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?

Force you to try and drop charges?

Threaten to commit suicide?

Threaten to kill you?

Then you could be in a violent relationship.

Verbal abuse can indicate domestic violence as well. Not all verbally abusive relationships are physically abusive but it isn’t uncommon for the verbally abusive relationship to escalate to one that becomes physically abusive. Sometimes this takes a few years, maybe 5 to 7 years for the verbal abuse to become the punch leaving a giant hole in the wall or the smashing of the lamp. Then its the slap and the excuse that it was the victim’s fault: “if you just hadn’t said that…”. Then the punch, the beatings and eventually, the burial. In the book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans lists the characteristics of a verbally abusive relationship to include a pattern of:

Withholding intimacy
Judging
Trivializing a partner’s actions or feelings
Name calling
Accusing
Mean comments disguised as jokes

Right now, there is a campaign sweeping the nation that is hoping to make connections where some fail the victims of domestic violence. The Million Voices Campaign to End Domestic Violence in America is absolutely free and allows those who join to use their own resources and power to spread the word that domestic violence is intolerable.

When others drop the ball, pick it up and share the news that domestic violence isn’t just beating someone with punches. It is the exertion of power and control, a pattern of abusive behaviour that for many proves fatal even when they try to get away. Together, we are one giant voice against the big bad monster.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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