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Sportcaster James Brown and Law & Order SVU’s Mariska Hargitay On Bringing Men Into the Conversation

On January 31st, we participated in another important Twitter Chat with our friends from the Verizon Foundation, as a part of the Foundation’s Your Voice Counts campaign.

This Twitter Chat focused on the role that men play in preventing and ending domestic violence. With the Super Bowl then-only days away and recent tragedies in the NFL community still fresh in the minds of many, this was an incredibly timely conversation.

The topic was so popular that the event’s hashtag #YourVoiceCounts even trended nationally on Twitter. Verizon Foundation’s President Rose Stuckey Kirk, CBS Sportscaster James Brown, actress Mariska Hargitay and her organization Joyful Heart Foundation, A CALL TO MEN, and NO MORE all contributed to the success of the chat.

If you were involved in the Twit Chat, we’d love to hear your feedback. If not, we hope you join us next time.

1/31 Tweet up with Verizon Foundation @verizongiving, Sportscaster James Brown @JBsportscaster, NO MORE @NOMOREorg, LiveRespect @LiveRESPECT, Joyful Heart Foundation @TheJHF, and actress Mariska Hargitay @Mariska

http://storify.com/NDVH/yourvoicecounts-tweet-up

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A Man Can

On January 4, The Hotline was honored with a visit from sportscaster James Brown, host of CBS Network’s “The NFL Today” and representatives of The Verizon Foundation is support of his A Man Can campaign.

“Domestic violence is an epidemic in all of our communities,” Brown said.  “That deepened my personal commitment and desire to help end domestic violence.  It’s my hope that millions of men join me in this campaign.”

Through this campaign, Brown is promoting respect and equality – respect for yourself and in your relationships — and he’s asking men to be informed and be appropriately proactive when they witness disrespectful or abusive behavior.

“I’m here to encourage men and help them understand that they can have a very meaningful impact, much more easily than they think,” Brown said.  “Don’t laugh at that inappropriate joke.  Second, don’t condone domestic violence with your silence.  If you know someone who is abusive – physically, verbally, emotionally or financially – you as men can play a positive role, just like the coach of a team, and be helpful in changing behavior.  This campaign will build awareness around the issues of domestic violence prevention and the resources available for helping those experiencing domestic violence and those who perpetrate it.”

Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation, said: “Domestic violence knows no boundaries.  It affects men and women, every race, every culture and all socioeconomic levels.  That’s why a very important part of this campaign is educating men and women on how to help someone in need.  That means referring people in need – men and women who are experiencing domestic violence – to resources that can help them live a violence-free life. Verizon welcomes this partnership with James Brown, whose leadership and commitment have helped elevate domestic violence prevention in our national dialogue.”

During the visit, a film crew documented Brown’s tour including conversations with Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones, listening on Hotline crisis calls, a discussion group, and a one-on-one meetings with a survivor to further educate himself on the issues of domestic violence. The final video of documenting Brown’s Experience is available below and on YouTube.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

First Dating Abuse Texting Service Launches

On September 27, loveisrespect.org, a partnership between the National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle, announced the nation’s first dating abuse texting service. Teens and 20-somethings can now ask questions about healthy relationships simply by texting “loveis” to 77054 to directly connect to a peer advocate.

Vice President Joe Biden premiered the service on September 26, sending the first text to peer advocate Whitney Laas, thanking loveisrespect.org advocates for their work to end dating abuse.

An additional feature of the brand’s re-launch is the updated website. The new site contains interactive quizzes as well as expanded information about LGBTQ dating, legal support and digital abuse. As always, the innovative online chat is still accessible through the website. Also as an added feature, young adults will now be able to receive services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The re-launch of loveisrespect.org was made possible by the Office on Violence Against Women, Liz Claiborne Inc., Healthy Kids Healthy Families and the Verizon Foundation. To learn more, please visit loveisrespect.org.

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

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

National Domestic Violence Prevention Summit 2009

verizonThe Verizon Foundation brought together more than 120 leaders at its 4th Annual National Domestic Violence Prevention Summit. This year’s summit addressed two important issues – engaging communities to help end domestic violence, and bringing men into the conversation to be part of the solution. Summit Speaker and Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project director Curt Rogers described the Summit as groundbreaking in its inclusion of male victims in the discussion.

The Summit also showcased model programs and partnerships that support a collaborative community effort to end domestic violence. This included areas such as public service media, law enforcement, public health and many others. The Summit had a large number of Verizon executive leadership in attendance as well as leaders in the domestic violence community including National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Sheryl Cates.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

2008 Vital Link Awards

At the end of October, the National Domestic Violence Hotline held its annual Vital Links Awards in New York to honor individuals and organizations which have significantly contributed to building awareness of family violence prevention services. Honorees have courageously spoken out against domestic violence and in support of survivors and their families.

Fox News Channel Fox & Friends Co-Anchor Gretchen Carlson was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Sponsors for the event included Platinum sponsors Verizon, FedEx and CTIA The Wireless Foundation, Gold sponsors Liz Claiborne, Red Media Group, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs with all of its contributing organizations, and Silver sponsors Kaiser Permanente, Lifetime Networks and Burson Marsteller. Other contributors included New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC, GFWC Federation Guild Association, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher, Gap, Inc. and Richard Pizutto Events Management.

Awards and recipients included:

  • Voices for Change Award to S. Epatha Merkerson, who portrays Lieutenant Anita Van Buren of NBC’s award-winning series Law and Order.
  • Vital Link Award to the Verizon Foundation for its generosity and support, on a local and national level of domestic violence education, prevention and victim empowerment programs.
  • Special Tribute for Lifetime Achievement to Linda Fairstein, best-selling author of crime novels, and one of the country’s leading legal experts on crimes of violence, having served for 25 years as the Bureau Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Special Tribute for Advocacy and Social Change to Victor Rivas Rivers, who speaks out on the effects of domestic violence on behalf of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and is the author of a personal memoir, a Private Family Matter. In his book, Victor writes bravely and honestly about what it is like to grow up in a home dominated by domestic violence. In addition to his national speaking engagements, Victor is a regular in the NBC hit series Life.
  • Media for Change Award to Seventeen Magazine for leading the national conversation about healthy dating and dating abuse, and its support of loveisrespect.org, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.
  • Media for Change Award to MySpace for its partnership with loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline which provided advertising to promote the Helpline to teens.
  • Volunteers for Change to Jacquelyn Pierce and Nannette White of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) which took on Domestic Violence awareness and prevention as it special project for 2006-2008. Under the leadership of then-International President Jacquelyn Pierce and Chair Nannette White, the GFWC contributed more than $15.9 million to domestic violence awareness and prevention projects throughout the United States. To celebrate receipt of the award, 37 members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs were in attendance. These 37 club members were from 13 states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
announcement

2008 Vital Link Award

Austin, Texas—November 13, 2008 — At the end of October, the National Domestic Violence Hotline held its annual Vital Links Awards in New York to honor individuals and organizations which have significantly contributed to building awareness of family violence prevention services. Honorees have courageously spoken out against domestic violence and in support of survivors and their families.

Fox News Channel Fox & Friends Co-Anchor Gretchen Carlson was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Sponsors for the event included Platinum sponsors Verizon, FedEx and CTIA The Wireless Foundation, Gold sponsors Liz Claiborne, Red Media Group, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs with all of its contributing organizations, and Silver sponsors Kaiser Permanente, Lifetime Networks and Burson Marsteller.  Other contributors included New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC, GFWC Federation Guild Association, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher, Gap, Inc. and Richard Pizutto Events Management.

Awards and recipients included:

  • Voices for Change Award to S. Epatha Merkerson, who portrays Lieutenant Anita Van Buren of NBC’s award-winning series Law and Order.
  • Vital Link Award to the Verizon Foundation for its generosity and support, on a local and national level of domestic violence education, prevention and victim empowerment programs.
  • Special Tribute for Lifetime Achievement to Linda Fairstein, best-selling author of crime novels, and one of the country’s leading legal experts on crimes of violence, having served for 25 years as the Bureau Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Special Tribute for Advocacy and Social Change to Victor Rivas Rivers, who speaks out on the effects of domestic violence on behalf of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and is the author of a personal memoir, a Private Family Matter. In his book, Victor writes bravely and honestly about what it is like to grow up in a home dominated by domestic violence.  In addition to his national speaking engagements, Victor is a regular in the NBC hit series Life.
  • Media for Change Award to Seventeen Magazine for leading the national conversation about healthy dating and dating abuse, and  its support of loveisrespect.org, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.
  • Media for Change Award to MySpace for its partnership with loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline which provided advertising to promote the Helpline to teens.
  • Volunteers for Change to Jacquelyn Pierce and Nannette White of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) which took on Domestic Violence awareness and prevention as it special  project for 2006-2008. Under the leadership of then-International President Jacquelyn Pierce and Chair Nannette White, the GFWC contributed more than $15.9 million to domestic violence awareness and prevention projects throughout the United States. To celebrate receipt of the award, 37 members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs were in attendance. These 37 club members were from 13 states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
announcement

National Leaders Convene To Find Solutions

Washington D.C. – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) will honor a decade of answering calls and saving lives by launching the first-of-its-kind Decade for Change Summit. This unprecedented gathering of corporate, private and government leadership has been called together to develop a 10-year blueprint for change to significantly reduce domestic violence in America.

More than 100 summit panelists representing the public and private sectors, faith communities, domestic violence services, youth, state and federal officials, media, education, and medical/mental health professionals will be participating in a series of three Summit meetings scheduled throughout the fall. Participants in this groundbreaking leadership conference include:

* Meredith Wagner, Vice President of Public Affairs, Lifetime Television
* Laysha Ward, Vice President, Community Relations, Target
* Patrick Gaston, President, Verizon Foundation
* Sheila Garcia, Associate Director, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
* Dr. Scott McConnell, Director, Center for Early Education and Development, University of Minnesota
* Joanna Coles, Editor, Marie Claire Magazine

“Despite significant efforts over the past decade to address the problem of domestic violence in our country, 33 million American women continue to experience abuse every year,” said Sheryl Cates, NDVH Chief Executive Officer. “As a society, we can and need to do more. The Summit provides the unique opportunity to not only develop viable solutions for prevention, but importantly, it is the first step in creating a unified national movement to end domestic violence.”

Over one-fourth of American women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Since its inception in 1996, the Hotline has become the vital link to safety for victims of domestic violence and their families. Today, Hotline advocates answer an average of 17,000 calls per month from women, men and children across the nation. As public awareness grows about domestic violence, the Hotline has seen a significant increase in call volume, with calls to the Hotline increasing by 200 percent over the last ten years.

Following the day-long national Summit, the NDVH will host a celebratory gala at Union Station in honor of the Hotline’s 10th anniversary and to recognize individual and corporate leadership in the movement to end domestic violence. Hosted by Court TV’s Catherine Crier, this year’s honorees include actress Salma Hayek, domestic abuse survivor Yvette Cade and Steve Largent, President and Chief Executive Officer of CTIA¬-The Wireless Foundation.

Target is the lead sponsor for both the Decade for Change Summit and the 10th Anniversary Gala, along with Allstate Insurance, Verizon, Curves and American Happenings.

“Target is proud to partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline on the commemoration of the Hotline’s tenth anniversary,” said Laysha Ward, vice president, community relations, Target. “By working with the Hotline, we are helping to strengthen families, prevent violence and abuse and save lives.”

About the NDVH
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) is a project of the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas. NDVH provides empowerment-based crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence and their friends and families. The Hotline serves as the only center in the nation with access to over 4,800 shelters and domestic violence programs across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NDVH operates 24 hours each day, 365 days every year, in over 140 different languages, with a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing.  All calls to NDVH are anonymous.

About Target

Minneapolis-based Target serves guests at 1,443 stores in 47 states nationwide by delivering today’s best retail trends at affordable prices. Target is committed to providing guests with great design through innovative products, in-store experiences and community partnerships. Whether visiting a Target store or shopping online at Target.com, guests enjoy a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to thousands of unique and highly differentiated items. Target (NYSE:TGT) gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs.