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FVPSA Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

While we’re raising awareness on the important issue of domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re also celebrating the 30th anniversary of a vital piece of legislation: The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA).

FVPSA’s passage in 1984 marked the first time in U.S. history that federal resources were specifically dedicated to domestic violence shelters and programs. The Hotline, first established by the Violence Against Women Act (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary!), is now made possible in part by FVPSA funding.

To commemorate these 30 years, the Hotline team collaborated with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, the Family & Youth Services Bureau, and other key organizations to create a short video about FVPSA and what it has done for victims and survivors of domestic violence. To learn more about FVPSA and domestic violence, visit www.LearnAboutFVPSA.com.

 

 

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#SeeDV This October

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and the 30th anniversary of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act – two vital pieces of legislation that led to an increase of resources and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

In the last month, we’ve watched as the conversation about domestic violence in this country made a huge shift. Media outlets are talking about it, people on Twitter are talking about it, the NFL is talking about it, government leaders are talking about it.

But there is still work to be done. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it’s more important than ever for your voice to be heard. That’s why this year, we’re asking again:

How do you #seeDV?

We’re asking because domestic violence should be talked about.

We’re asking because it shouldn’t be something shameful or hidden.

We’re asking for every person living with abuse, for every survivor, for every family, for every community affected.

Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing different perspectives and stories from people around the country on how they see DV. Some are survivors. Some are activists. They all “see” domestic violence as something we can end together. But we have to speak up.

So let’s start talking. How do you #seeDV?

Want to get involved? Click here.

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IVAWA

Help Stop Violence Against Women Worldwide

Every day, women and girls around the world are subject to physical and sexual violence. Gender-based violence knows no physical or cultural boundaries, occurring in times of war and peace and in every single country around the world. Shockingly, rates are as high as 70% in some countries.

IVAWA

But this is a problem with a solution.

The U.S. government has a critical role to play in preventing and ending gender-based violence worldwide. And Members of Congress have a unique opportunity in this important effort.

Passing the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) is one of the best ways the U.S. can help. This new bill – introduced by Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and soon to be introduced in the Senate, represents a crucial step in sticking up for and empowering women and girls worldwide. The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) integrates violence prevention and response into U.S. foreign policy and supports proven programs that can reduce violence against women and girls.

On any given day, horrifying news stories about such violence appears across the news: The systematic rape of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Increasing assaults on the women and girls standing up for their rights in Afghanistan. Violence against women and girls in Haiti whose lives are already devastated by the earthquake. Sadly, the list could go on for days. These horrific instances of gender-based violence are not isolated to a few women in a few places- they are just the stories that make headlines.

Incidents of violence against women internationally can seem distant and incomprehensible. But the women affected share many of the same dreams and aspirations as our sisters, our daughters, our friends and lovers, and our neighbors. Violence takes the lives of millions of women and girls, and denies countless others their dignity and the chance to live safe, productive lives. And, in a world where tensions and violence within communities can jeopardize national and international security, it is vital that the United States take action.

We cannot turn away. We must end atrocities committed against women and girls in their homes and in their communities, during times of peace and times of conflict.

The United States Congress can help address these horrifying abuses. Lawmakers should move quickly to pass IVAWA and signal the United States’ commitment to stopping violence against women and girls worldwide.

You, your family, and your neighbors now can let lawmakers know you want more to be done to address violence against women globally. And you can do it right now.

Let your Member of Congress know that ending violence against women and girls is important to you. Send a message urging him or her to pass the International Violence Against Women Act.

To learn more, go to “Let’s Pass I-VAWA!”

malika1

I See DV As A Complex Issue That Impacts ALL Women and Girls

This October, we’re highlighting different perspectives around domestic violence as part of our How I See DV campaign. Our first contributor is the accomplished activist Malika Saada Saar, director of the Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls).

My Work Taught Me How To Talk About Domestic Violence

I am a human rights lawyer for women and girls because of the domestic violence movement — a collection of people working to ending abuse. The domestic violence movement taught me how to name the violence done to women and girls. It gave me a language to frame the abuse in my own familial circles. And, the movement grounded me in how I wanted to make a life insistent on women’s dignity, power and safety.

The Movement, and Our Mission, Have Evolved

Since my college days of working at a domestic violence shelter, my belief in how the movement ought to move forward has changed significantly. For me, it is no longer only about the original framework of intimate partner violence against women.

The last reauthorization of our landmark Violence Against Women Act unearthed how our work has really progressed as a movement against gender-based violence. The original passage of VAWA in 1994 signaled a new discourse on violence that reshaped how we as a nation both acknowledged and framed spousal abuse. But, now almost twenty years later, VAWA includes language that names sexual violence and the need for victim services, redefines trafficking of children as a form of sexual violence, ends the impunity of non-Native persons who rape and assault women and girls on tribal lands, and recognizes that LGBT individuals are also victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Like VAWA, the domestic violence movement is powerfully expanding in its contemplation of violence to include the complex ways in which violence plays out in the lives of ALL women — and girls.

Domestic Violence Affects ALL Women and Girls

I deeply believe that we must continue to be expansive, broad, and diverse as a movement because the violence against us continues, unabated. Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S. That means more women are being harmed by violence than in car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.

The lives of African-American women are even more diminished by violence, as African American women experience intimate partner violence at a rate 35 percent higher than that of white women. And, one out every three American women has been beaten, sexually coerced or otherwise abused in her lifetime.

The narrative of physical and sexual violence against women and girls continues to cut across the buffers of economic or educational privilege, and breeches every divide of race, class and ethnicity in America. It is a story whispered in the corners of mansions in affluent neighborhoods, in the best private schools and universities, behind the walls of women prisons and girl detention centers, and on the street corners where girls are sexually exploited and trafficked. Violence against women and girls remains a painfully American tale.

There Are New Forms of Abuse — and New Work to Be Done

Clearly, there is still so much more work to be done to address, name, and end violence against women and girls, especially when the violence has taken on new manifestations: cyber-stalking and harassment, digitized rape, the intersection between the hyper-sexualization of girls and violence. But I am made stronger when I consider the inheritance that we possess at this moment in the work.

The inheritance we possess as women who stand on the shoulders of so many who went before us, who fought for us, who won for us access to power, equality and full personhood. I think of the other inheritance too: the inheritance of those victims of rape, exploitation, abuse, and coercion whose lives were snuffed out because of the violence done to them because they were women and girls. It is the inheritance of all of this, the generational victories and sufferings that allow us to be here, with an abiding commitment to end violence against women and girls, on this domestic violence awareness month, and every month, in the years ahead.


About Our Contributor

Malika Saada Saar is Special Counsel on Human Rights at The Raben Group. She also serves as director of the Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls), an effort focused on the human rights of vulnerable girls in the U.S. Previously, Malika co-founded and was the executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, a policy and advocacy organization for women and families. At Rebecca Project, Malika led the effort to shut down Craigslist sex ads that served as the leading site for the trafficking of children for sex, ended the federal practice of shackling pregnant mothers behind bars in U.S. prisons, and successfully advocated for millions in federal funding for treatment services for at-risk families. Newsweek and the Daily Beast have named Malika as one of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

The Obama White House selected Ms. Saada Saar to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights.

Malika has been featured in the Daily Beast, Huffington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Politico, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Redbook Magazine, Essence, Tavis Smiley Show, BBC, ABC News, Good Morning America, CNN, and National Public Radio.

 

know your rights

From Your Home to the Workplace: Know Your Rights

Leaving an abusive relationship or having just left one can be an extremely difficult time, made even more complicated by the concerns that come with your work and home. Thankfully there are laws in place that help prevent employment and housing discrimination — such as being evicted or refused time off because of the abuse.

Employment Rights

If you’re planning on leaving an abusive relationship or you’ve just left, knowing your rights regarding your job can be crucial. These laws vary state by state and may fluctuate depending on what kind of job you have.

The state you’re living in may have laws that prohibit your employer from firing or punishing you if you need to take time off to go to court, for example. Some of these laws allow for unpaid leave in such circumstances.

There are also laws against ‘wrongful termination’ if you’ve been fired, demoted, suspended or forced to quit if your employer learns that you’re a victim of domestic violence.

This is a useful resource for learning about federal and state employment law protections.

Some employers also have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offering different assistance and counseling services. Speak to your HR department to see what types of options may exist for you.

Housing Rights

Housing discrimination against victims occurs far too often, so learning about your rights can be extremely important if you’re thinking about leaving a relationship or have recently left.

Some states have laws that allow victims to terminate their leases, have their locks changed and more. There are also laws that help safeguard against being evicted or losing your housing because of the violence. These laws differ on local, state and federal levels.

The recently reauthorized Violence Against Women Act has expanded provisions about housing rights of victims.

Laws are continually being changed and interpreted in different ways. Visit Women’s Law to find out about how to speak with a legal advocate in your area.

Public Assistance Program Rights

Everyone has the right to apply for different public assistance programs. State Welfare Programs known as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) are for families with low or no income. There are also community assistance programs that you may be eligible for in your area.

Calling 2-1-1 can connect you to local services to get help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more.

If you call NDVH at 1-800-799-SAFE, our advocates can also help look up the local offices in your area so you can begin to learn more about what you may qualify for (ex. Medicaid, food stamps) and how to apply.

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It’s National Crime Victim’s Rights Week

“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” — Ramsey Clark


Each year 18.7 million Americans are directly harmed by crime — and this statistic doesn’t include the countless number of family, friends and co-workers who are also impacted by these tragedies.

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Crime Victim’s Rights Week (April 21-27). Since 1981, the Office for Victims of Crime has dedicated this week to promoting victims’ rights and honoring both victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme is “New Challenges. New Solutions” which focuses on OVC’s initiative, “Transforming Victim Services.”

As a national organization committed to ending domestic violence, this is a crucial week for us to reflect upon and think about victims of these and other crimes. Each day we advocate for victim’s rights, and there has been great progress made. It was only last month that we saw the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, with new provisions extending the protection of Native American women and members of the LGBT community.

Still, it only takes a quick look around us — in the media, at our congressional hearings, in everyday dialogue — to see that challenges remain. According to OVC, about 50% of violent crimes are not reported, and only a fraction of victims receive the help they need. Domestic violence remains one of the most underreported crimes, for various reasons. Every day we speak to victims who are in fear of being deported, losing custody of their children, becoming financially unstable, or not being believed. Victims’ rights are not all equal, and often go unenforced or ignored.

As demonstrated through this national week of recognition each year, conversation and collaboration is necessary for further change.

Domestic Violence Is a Crime

In 2010, violent crimes by intimate partners totaled 509,230 — 13% of all violent crimes. Of female murder victims in 2010, 38% were killed by a husband or boyfriend. Sixty four percent of female victims experienced violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.

Learn More

If you or someone you know is a victim of intimate partner violence, call The Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to confidentially speak with an advocate. We can provide you with info on safety planning and next steps, as well as give you resources for learning more about victim rights.

To get more involved, check out the National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events to see if there is anything you can attend in your area, or organize your own event. For more information about victims of assault, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, sexual assault and other crimes, download the Help Series brochures.

Learn more about the history of victim’s rights (Section 5).

Follow the hashtag #NCVRW2013 on Twitter throughout the week to learn more.

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A Look at the History of The National Domestic Violence Hotline

With all the celebration around the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, we have the chance to look back on the history of The Hotline, which was able to take its first call because of this very legislation. Here are some of our most important dates throughout the past 20 years:

  • September 13, 1994: President Clinton signs VAWA, which authorizes the creation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • August 17, 1995: The Texas Council on Family Violence receives a $1 million grant that establishes The Hotline.
  • February 21, 1996: The Hotline takes its first call.
  • October 28, 2000: President Clinton signs the reauthorization of VAWA, supporting The Hotline.
  • August 2, 2003: The Hotline takes its one-millionth call. The caller is a battered woman looking for shelter. After speaking to a local crisis line and learning that shelters are full, she remembers the number of The Hotline, calls, and an advocate helps her find a place to stay.
  • October 2005: The Hotline concludes its Connections Campaign and raises $2.7 million to build the technological capacity of The Hotline to respond to more calls and provide better service.
  • September 26, 2006: Verizon Wireless offers direct connection to The Hotline through the #HOPE Initiative — dialing #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone instantly connects callers to The Hotline.
  • February 27, 2006: Senator Biden leads a press conference at The Hotline to mark its 10th anniversary. He meets with advocates to talk about the technological improvements designed to help advocates respond to callers more quickly.
  • February 2006: The Hotline reaches the milestone of answering over 1.5 million calls.
  • February 8, 2007: The Hotline and Liz Claiborne Inc. announce the launch of loveisrespect.org, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH). Today, this is referred to as the National Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH).
  • October 21, 2008: The Hotline takes its 2 millionth call.
  • April 28, 2009: Vice President Joe Biden makes a visit to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect for a press event and tour of the facilities. This is his second visit to the organizations in six years.
  • October 13, 2009: The partnership between Marshalls and The Hotline for the Shop ‘til It Stops campaign officially launches with two fundraising and awareness events in Los Angeles and New York.
  • November 22, 2010: The Hotline ranks in the ‘Top 10 Best Places to Work’ in a report conducted by the Austin American Statesman and Workplace Dynamics. The Hotline is the only social services nonprofit ranked in the top 10 winners.
  • January 27, 2011: The leader of the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell, joins The Hotline to help bring awareness to domestic violence and to celebrate the 15th Anniversary. He joins Dallas Cowboys superstar Jason Witten, baseball great Joe Torre and others to kick off the yearlong campaign.
  • February 8, 2011: The National Dating Abuse Helpline joins forces with Break the Cycle to expand upon loveisrespect.org. This partnership creates the ultimate comprehensive online resource to engage and empower teens through dating abuse awareness.
  • September 26, 2011: loveisrespect announces the nation’s first dating abuse texting service. Vice President Joe Biden premieres the service by sending the first text to National Dating Abuse Helpline peer advocate Whitney Laas.
  • February 21, 2012: The Hotline celebrates its 16th anniversary. At this point, The Hotline currently has about 85 staff members, both paid and volunteer. Of those employees, 12 have been at The Hotline for over 10 years.
  • January 29, 2013: At a special congressional briefing, The Hotline announces they are expecting to reach a milestone nearly one year earlier than predicted — answering 3 million calls since its inception in 1996. While this is not a cause for celebration, it highlights the vital role that The Hotline continues to play in assisting victims of domestic violence.
  • March 7, 2013: President Obama reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, with provisions that extend the protection of Native American women and members of the LGBTQ community.
  • March 8, 2013: The Hotline is the only center in the nation that has access to service providers and shelters across the U.S. Today, The Hotline continues to grow and explore new avenues of service.
National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

A Special Thank You for VAWA

Today President Obama signed the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the very piece of legislation that allowed us to take our very first call. We are so grateful to the national leaders and decision makers, advocates and all involved in the re-authorization.

Here is a video of our advocates saying a special thank you:

About VAWA:

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark piece of legislation that seeks to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States.

The passage of VAWA in 1994 has changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking have been able to access services, and a new generation of families and justice system professionals has come to understand that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes that our society will not tolerate.

Here’s a link to our official press release.

announcement

President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline applauds reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

February 28, 2013 – President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) and the National Dating Abuse Helpline (NDAH), Katie Ray-Jones issued the following statement today regarding the passage of the Violence Against Women Act:

“We applaud members of Congress for coming together to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. This legislation that extends protections to all victims no matter their race, legal status or sexual orientation sends an important message that no victim should be excluded from receiving critical resources that will help them live a life free of abuse.”

If you would like to interview a spokesperson about domestic violence, please contact Liz Bradford at 512.685.6298 or hotline.media@ndvh.org.

About The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Operating around the clock, seven days a week, 24/7, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Callers to the emergency hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) can expect highly trained experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information and referral services in more than 170+ languages. Visitors to www.NDVH.org can find information about domestic violence, safety planning, local resources, and ways to support the organization. The NDVH is part of the largest nationwide network of programs and expert resources and regularly shares insight about domestic violence with government officials, law enforcement agencies, media and the general public. The NDVH is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations and federal grants. For more information, visit www.NDVH.org or call 512.794.1133.

About the National Dating Abuse Helpline
The National Dating Abuse Helpline is the direct service provider behind loveisrespect.org, operating the 24/7 phone, text 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. We train these young leaders to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers.

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National Domestic Violence Hotline Projects Three Million Calls One Year Earlier Than Expected

Washington, DC – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) announced that it expects to reach a critical milestone nearly one year earlier than expected – answering three million calls since the hotline’s inception in 1996. Today’s announcement was made at a special congressional briefing to highlight the important role the NDVH plays in assisting all victims of domestic violence.

The NDVH is a nationwide organization staffed by highly trained advocates who give victims of abuse lifesaving tools and referrals to programs that can immediately help. Unlike hotlines serving only one state or geographic area, the NDVH provides access to the largest national network of resources and shelters and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 170 languages. Last year, the hotline received 265,000 calls from victims, survivors, their families and friends, service providers and abusers.

“The positive news is that more people in crisis are accessing the hotline for help and utilizing the services and resources we provide,” said Katie Ray-Jones, President of the NDVH. “But it’s also a sad and sobering reminder that domestic violence continues to be a national health problem in our country.”

The congressional briefing brought together a panel of experts to discuss the issue of domestic violence — what it means and how best to tackle the growing need for services and technology to support victims of abuse. The panel included representatives from the NDVH, Casa de Esperanza and Verizon Wireless.

“Because one in four Latinas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Hispanics comprise over 20 percent of the callers to the hotline, we believe that greater access to information and resources like the NDVH for Latino communities is vital in our outreach and support of victims,” said Amy Sanchez, chief executive officer for external relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The NDVH provides help to members of all communities regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. As a non-profit organization, the hotline relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations as well as federal grants.

“Today’s announcement underscores the need for strong public/private partnerships and corporate resources to increase awareness of domestic violence and further prevention efforts,” said Elva Lima, executive director of public relations for Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be a part of today’s panel and committed to our partnership with the NDVH.”

Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way. Those seeking help can also dial #HOPE from their Verizon wireless phones to be connected directly to the NDVH.

Callers to the hotline may be experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, addiction and abuse, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and many other complex circumstances and situations.

“Unlike other important milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, responding to three million calls at the hotline is not a cause for celebration.” said Dyanne Purcell, chief executive officer of the NDVH.   “Our hope is that today’s announcement and discussion elevate the dialogue and heighten awareness about the issue of domestic violence.”

About The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Operating around the clock seven days a week, 24/7, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) provides crisis intervention, information and referral services to victims of domestic violence, their friends and families and even their abusers. Callers to the emergency hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE, can expect highly-trained experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, counseling and instruction for finding safety. Visitors to www.NDVH.org can find information about domestic violence, safety planning, local resources, and ways to support the organization. The NDVH has the largest nationwide network of programs and expert resources and regularly shares insight about domestic violence with government officials, law enforcement agencies, media and the general public. The NDVH is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations and federal grants. For more information, visit www.NDVH.org or call 512.794.1133.

announcement

Our Three Millionth Call Will Come One Year Earlier Than Expected

Today The Hotline is announcing that we expect to reach a critical milestone nearly one year earlier than expected — answering three million calls since The Hotline’s inception in 1996. Today’s announcement was made at a special congressional briefing to highlight the important role The Hotline plays in assisting victims of domestic violence.

“The positive news is that more people in crisis are accessing The Hotline for help and utilizing the services and resources we provide,” said Katie Ray-Jones, president of The Hotline. “But it’s also a sad and sobering reminder that domestic violence continues to be a national health problem in our country.”

The congressional briefing brought together a panel of experts to discuss the issue of domestic violence — what it means and how best to tackle the growing need for services and technology to support victims of abuse. The panel included representatives from the The Hotline, Casa de Esperanza and Verizon Wireless.

“Because one in four Latinas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Hispanics comprise over 20 percent of the callers to The Hotline, we believe that greater access to information and resources like The Hotline for Latino communities is vital in our outreach and support of victims,” said Amy Sanchez, chief executive officer for external relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The Hotline provides help to members of all communities regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations as well as federal grants.

“Today’s announcement underscores the need for strong public/private partnerships and corporate resources to increase awareness of domestic violence and further prevention efforts,” said Elva Lima, executive director of public relations for Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be a part of today’s panel and committed to our partnership with the The Hotline.”

Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way. Those seeking help can also dial #HOPE from their Verizon wireless phones to be connected directly to The Hotline.

Callers to The Hotline may be experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, addiction and abuse, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and many other complex circumstances and situations.

“Unlike other important milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, responding to three million calls at the hotline is not a cause for celebration,” said Dyanne Purcell, chief executive officer of The Hotline. “Our hope is that today’s announcement and discussion will heighten the dialogue and awareness about the issue of domestic violence.”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The Hotline Celebrates the 18th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and Calls for Bi-partisan Support for the Reauthorization of VAWA

Today celebrates the 18th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) and asks Congress to support reauthorization of the landmark legislation.

The Hotline was created by the legislation and has helped millions of women, men and families since its creation. The Hotline receives more than 22,000 calls a month from victims of domestic violence and their families and friends.

“The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day and it is a life-line for women, men, children and families in danger and offers victims help and hope,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “We are honored to have helped more than 2 million callers since The Hotline was created by the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA).”

United States House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith recently declared, “It is essential that programs like these are in place to protect victims not just from physical bruises but from the emotional and mental scars as well. Funding through VAWA has helped women escape abuse and rebuild their lives.”

Vice President Joe Biden today also praised the passage of the Violence Against Women Act saying it gives law enforcement and courts more tools to combat domestic violence and hold offenders accountable. “We created a national hotline to direct victims to life-saving assistance and since VAWA passed, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent,” said Biden.

VAWA represents our federal government’s coordinated community response to sexual assault and family violence services. Rape crisis centers, family violence centers, law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts all form a part of this response.