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

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

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
Trivializing a partner’s actions or feelings
Name calling
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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