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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

Why We’re Blogging About the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

For those of us at The Hotline who are Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans, it’s difficult to watch this season. Housewife Taylor Armstrong has recently disclosed her experience of abuse and is also coping with the suicide of her allegedly abusive ex-husband. Entertainment Tonight has released gruesome photos of the black eye Taylor suffered and is discussing the incidents of abuse in greater detail.

Russell Armstrong’s death occurred after season two of the RHWOBH had finished filming. There has been a lot of controversy around the choice made by Bravo to continue airing the therapy sessions with Taylor in which she analyzed her relationship with Russell.

As this season airs, we are going to blog about the behaviors we see. We want to provide you a context for the human experiences we are all watching unfold as we tune in to each week’s episode. We hope to empower you, our readers, with knowledge that you can use if you find yourself in a similar situation to what you see on screen. What are ways to help a friend in Taylor’s situation? Is therapy recommended for abusive couples? How should you react if someone tells you that they are abused? These and other questions are areas we strive to answer by using the lens of this show to examine domestic violence.

As we write about what we see, we do not mean to exploit, objectify or judge the very real people who we are watching. We extend our saddest condolences to Russell Armstrong’s family and wish nothing but support for Taylor and her daughter as they grieve and begin their healing process.

According to online sources, 2.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the season premiere. The sheer amount of people watching the show, combined with the knowledge that one in four women has experienced abuse, helps us feel that this season could be an important learning moment for all of us.

In season one, Taylor, a domestic violence advocate herself, used her access to the cameras to positively promote a local Beverly Hills shelter, 1736 Family Crisis Center. Blogging about this season is a way for us to use a platform we have — this website — to discuss a topic that deserves our attention.

We hope you’ll join our conversation.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

It’s Time to Talk: Awareness Day Brings Much Needed Attention to Domestic Violence

Every year, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds a media day called It’s Time to Talk Day. The day includes opportunities for print and radio outlets to generate a dialogue about domestic violence. Last year, the event was held in New York City on December 8 at the Liz Claiborne headquarters, where showrooms were transformed into “Talk Radio Row,” allowing talk shows hosts to broadcast programs throughout the day with special guests from various domestic violence organizations, corporations and foundations.

Two advocates from The Hotline and loveisrespect attended the events and participated in the Radio Row interviews to bring awareness to the issue and to ensure that people know there is a place to call for help. In addition to advocates speaking out, celebrities such as Tim Gunn and actress Stephanie March took part in the 7th annual It’s Time to Talk Day.

A special screening of the documentary “Telling Amy’s Story” was held prior to ITTTD as a kick-off of the day. Our advocates who attended share their recollections of the event:

From Melissa Kaufman, Volunteer and Training Coordinator for The Hotline and loveisrespect

Our whirlwind trip to New York City started with a viewing of “Telling Amy’s Story,” the documentary from Verizon which follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred on November 8, 2001. The viewing was emceed by the co-host of the Today show, Meredith Vieira, and we were able to visit with Meredith and a few others before entering the theater to watch the film.

After the movie was over, we exited the theater into the freezing cold NYC night and walked back to our hotel to get some rest before our next adventure. The following morning, we woke up at 5 a.m., got ready and walked to the Liz Claiborne headquarters for the annual It’s Time to Talk Day. The only people out that early with us on our walk were the street vendors preparing for the day and delivery drivers. We spent the next three hours at Liz Claiborne talking to advocates and experts in the domestic violence field and conducting interviews with a panel of radio hosts and bloggers. It was pretty exciting to be surrounded by the amazing women and men who are doing such tremendous work around teen dating abuse and domestic violence.

So much awareness still needs to be raised around this issue and I hope our time there helped spread the word about the help that is out there for victims at The Hotline and loveisrespect.

From Diane Perez, Hotline Advocate

This year, I had the great opportunity to attend the Liz Claiborne’s It’s Time to Talk Day, which started with a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story” the evening before. I had already seen the documentary but regardless how many times you see it, it’s still just as powerful each time. Meredith Vieira with NBC’s Today emceed the screening, and shared with everyone there that she was a survivor of domestic violence in her college years. I thought it took a lot of courage to tell her story because with domestic violence there is always a lot of shame involved. Meredith sharing her story was powerful because it really speaks to the reality that domestic violence does not discriminate against anyone from any background, and that domestic violence is not just a poor community issue but that it is an epidemic in our country. The next day at the It’s Time to Talk Day event was just as powerful with so many people involved in sharing their voices and speaking up about domestic violence.

Information is power and as long as we keep educating and speaking out, we can shine a light on something that can often times be very isolating and lonely.

To learn more about It’s Time to Talk Day, please watch the video below.

It’s Time to Talk Day from Elizabeth Davies on Vimeo.

Photos from the event:


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National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Judge Pirro Releases PSA for “Love Is” Campaign

Judge Jeanine Pirro, host of the Emmy-nominated and syndicated “Judge Pirro” show, has partnered with The Hotline to launch an educational initiative about domestic violence this season. Pirro has incorporated safety tips and action plans into the show in an effort to empower women and men in abusive situations.

“The public has to be educated about domestic violence,” explained Pirro. “Every time a victim is ignored, a criminal goes unpunished, or violence is excused, our society erodes further.”

Judge Pirro is not only raising awareness about what constitutes emotional, physical and sexual abuse, but is also offering resources to those who may be in unhealthy relationships.

Judge Pirro joins the National Domestic Violence Hotline in our 15th Anniversary “Love Is” campaign with a series of public service announcements that we will be releasing throughout the year. We are proud to have her be a part of The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary and Honorary Committee.

Visit our 15th Anniversary page to learn more about the “Love Is” Campaign.

announcement

Actress-Producer-Director Salma Hayek Pinault Releases First PSA In English And Spanish For The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Committee

October 20, 2010 – A Fabulous array of stars will kick off a year-long campaign for the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) to help end domestic violence.

Actress Salma Hayak Pinault is the Honorary Chair of the Committee. She is joined by honorary committee members Christina Aguilera, Martina McBride, Nicole Kidman, Marlee Matlin, Mariska Hargitay, the Honorable Judge Jeanine Pirro, Gretchen Carlson, Joe Torre, Robin Givens, Denise Brown, Greg Behrendt, Camille Winbush, Victor Rivas Rivers, Leslie Morgan Steiner and many others who are joining our cause and will be announced later.

Academy Award Nominee Salma Hayek Pinault has proven herself as a prolific actress, producer, and director, in both film and television. She received an Academy Award Nomination, a Golden Globe Nomination, a SAG Nomination, and a BAFTA Nomination for Best Actress for the title role in the movie Frida. Salma is also noted for her social activism and is a passionate advocate for the prevention of domestic violence. In 2006, The Hotline honored her at its Vital Link Awards ceremony as the Voices of Change recipient in recognition of her willingness to speak out publicly on domestic violence.

“I would like to see more people take a stand against domestic violence. This is a terrible epidemic, and we must all work together to demand that no one has to be a victim of abuse,” said Salma Hayek Pinault. “We, as a society, believe strongly in safety and security, but too many women and children do not feel safe in their own homes. The goal of this awareness campaign is to create a great movement helping victims of domestic violence and to make everyone understand, through education and positive messages, what Love Is.”

The celebrities will use their high profiles to help The Hotline with the 15th Anniversary promotions and will raise national awareness about the 2.3 million people who have been helped by the Hotline.

The Honorable Judge Jeanine Pirro, Host of the Emmy Nominated syndicated “Judge Pirro” show, launched an educational initiative about domestic violence this season partnering with The Hotline to incorporate safety tips and action plans into her show.

“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,” said Judge Jeanine Pirro.

Victims are seeking help from The Hotline in response to Judge Pirro’s show, and calls are expected to increase during the Love Is campaign as victims become more aware of the help that is available at 1-800-799- SAFE (7233) and 1-800-787-3224 (TTY), and the Salma PSA in Spanish will increase calls as more families become aware of the resources available to them through a call to The Hotline.

The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day, with assistance in 170 languages.  1-800-799-SAFE is a life-line for women, men, children and families in danger and offers victims and those who care about them help and hope,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of The National Domestic Violence Hotline. “I am honored to work with the 15th Anniversary Honorary Chair and Committee to raise awareness about this important issue that affects so many lives and to send the message that domestic violence is preventable. “

The Hotline receives about 21,000 calls each month. The special 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee will increase awareness that help is available, and this awareness offers opportunities to let more people know that domestic violence can and must be stopped.

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Contact: Angela Hale
512.289-2995
angela@redmediagroup.com

About us:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline was established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress and is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization providing crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies and the general public.

http://www.thehotline.org/

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Domestic Violence Examined on Dr. Phil

Yesterday on a Dr. Phil episode entitled Crossing the Line, Dr. Phil counseled two couples experiencing verbal and emotional abuse in their marriages.  Often when domestic violence is discussed, it’s assumed that physical violence is involved.  This episode serves as a moving reminder that abuse can take many forms — emotional, verbal, sexual, economic, psychological, spiritual and physical.

The men on this show believed that they were not committing domestic violence because they were not inflicting physical pain on their wives. Although there are no visible scars when domestic violence is non-physical, other forms of abuse still cause long-lasting damage and pain.

Abuse is never acceptable.  Review the signs of abuse and please call The Hotline if you have questions or concerns.  We are here to help.

Please call The Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TTY).

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

PBS Documentary on Domestic Violence to Premiere at Newseum in Washington D.C.

Actress and domestic violence prevention activist Mariska Hargitay, of NBC-TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, will introduce and appear in Telling Amy’s Story, a documentary on domestic violence that will premiere May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newseum, prior to being broadcast on PBS stations nationwide starting in June.

The documentary, created by Penn State Public Broadcasting, chronicles the time leading up to the death of Amy Homan McGee, a mother of two who was shot and killed by her husband. A question-and-answer session to include Sheryl Cates, CEO Emeritus of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, will follow.

The story of Amy Homan McGee is frightening and difficult to believe.  This hard working mother of two small children was tragically murdered at the hands of her abusive husband.

Penn State Public Broadcasting made a documentary and talked with her family, friends, law enforcement and court officials who were involved with the case to get their perspective on what happened in the weeks, months, and years leading up to Amy’s death.

This documentary was made so Amy Homan McGee and other victims’ voices of domestic violence will not be forgotten.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) would like communities across the nation to begin a dialogue of how their community can save lives and change the outcome of Amy’s story.  NDVH believes that domestic violence is preventable.   We as communities can not change the outcome of Amy’s life, but we can be an accountable community working positively wifh families for a different outcome.

Through this documentary, you will never forget Amy Homan McGee and we applaud Verizon Foundation and Penn State Public Broadcasting for collaborating on this documentary and engaging communities and showing that we all have a part to play in ending domestic violence.  To see a trailer of the movie and find out how you can get it shown in your area, visit telling.psu.edu.

Domestic violence is preventable and we can all play a part in social change.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline CEO Sheryl Cates on Fox News

marshallsNational Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) CEO Sheryl Cates was in New York today and made an appearance on New York City’s Fox 5 Morning News Show. Her interview with anchor Mike Woods focused on shedding the light on domestic violence and The Hotline’s recent partnership with Marshall’s for the Shop Till It Stops Campaign. Marshalls is donating $1 to The Hotline for each pair of shoes purchased at any Marshalls store between October 1 and 15, 2009. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and an important time to reach out to the media and bring awareness to the cause.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Judge Jeanine Pirro Puts the Spotlight on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Former New York District Attorney and County Court Judge Jeanine Pirro is partnering with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). She will use her national televised daily court program Judge Jeanine Pirro, as a national platform to educate her viewers and bring attention to the cause. Beginning on October 8 and continuing every Thursday for the entire month, the program will air a series of public service announcements for The Hotline. A special one-hour episode will also air on October 29, dedicated entirely to domestic violence cases, with an audience comprised of domestic violence victims.

Judge Pirro has always been a champion for the cause and started one of the first domestic crime units in the country. During her years in law enforcement, she established bureaus to investigate and prosecute crimes including domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and sex offenses.