This October #SeeDV with The Hotline

domestic violence awareness month

This October #SeeDV with The Hotline

#SeeDV DVAMOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! This month serves as a reminder for people in communities across the country to renew their commitment to preventing and ending domestic violence, which affects more than 12 million people in the U.S. each year. Although domestic violence is an important issue year-round, DVAM is an opportunity for all in the movement – from organizations and coalitions to survivors, friends and family members – to come together, amplify our stories and help the world #SeeDV.

Over the past year, the conversation about domestic violence has expanded and, in many ways, become more nuanced. People are learning more about the complexities of abusive relationships, including why it’s so difficult for victims to leave and how our society can better support people who have been abused.

At The Hotline, we #SeeDV every day. We’re seeing that domestic violence intersects with a variety of issues, including HIV/AIDS, firearms policy, law enforcement response and corporate social responsibility. During DVAM 2015, we will be shedding light on these issues with a few of our partners:

  • The Hotline is one of several organizations partnering with Kaiser Family Foundation’s Greater Than AIDS initiative to explore the intersection of HIV/AIDS and intimate partner violence (IPV). The campaign launching this month will include resources, a discussion guide and a video of four IPV survivors sharing their stories of living with abuse while HIV positive.
  • The Hotline will partner with Americans for Responsible Solutions for a joint webinar at 2 p.m. CT on Oct. 27. The webinar, entitled “A Deeper Conversation: The Intersection of Firearms and Domestic Violence,” will take a look at how the presence of a firearm in an abusive relationship intensifies the fear of abuse victims. It will also explore what can be done to provide greater protections to domestic violence victims and survivors. To register, click here.
  • For many years, Verizon has been committed to bringing attention to domestic violence and supporting survivors through its HopeLine program. Throughout October, Verizon will offer an exclusive line of purple accessories and will donate a portion of each sale, up to $100,000 to The Hotline. To learn more about HopeLine, visit their website.
  • Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is launching a second Pass the Peace campaign, which seeks to raise awareness and funds for The Hotline. Learn more about the campaign and how you can participate here.

We hope you’ll share how you #SeeDV with your friends, family and community this October. Be sure to follow The Hotline on social media for DVAM 2015 updates and ways to get involved!

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Comment section

20 replies
  1. I’m going through a divorce and was talking with my sisters husband. I was surprised to hear him ask me if I practiced bible discipline. I mistakenly took it to mean dealing with sex and dating since the divorce. When I answered in this way he smiled and said he meant wife spanking. I was speechless. He began detailing this to me and I looked at my sister and felt like I had to protect her from this way of thinking. I flat out told him what he was saying was domestic violence and that the only difference between him and any other abuser is that for whatever reason my sister said he could spank her.
    Am I wrong? This is domestic violence right? My sister refuses to talk about it. She’s called me a feminist man and my brother in law won’t allow her to speak to others in the family.

  2. Hi Daniel,

    Thank you for reaching out to comment. You are right that partner abuse of any kind is never ok, even if the Bible says it is. It sounds like he is using the physical abuse as a way to control her, especially based on the other control tactics he is using like not letting her speak to others in the family and controlling her communication with them. Even if she is submitting to the abuse because she feels that is what she is supposed to do as a religious wife, it’s still domestic violence. Supporting a family member who is in an abusive relationship can be really difficult, since you want to make sure not to blame her for the abuse and hold him accountable, while also supporting whatever decision she makes whether it be to stay or to go. She knows her situation the best, and trying to make her leave the relationship also takes away her control.

    It’s really concerning that she is in this situation, and that she isn’t being allowed to reach out for help or to talk about it. You can encourage her to reach out to our hotline or chat services if she thinks that’s an option for her. We are here 24/7 by phone at 1-800-799-7233 or from 7am-2am CT through our chat in the top right corner at https://www.thehotline.org/. If you want to talk more about the situation, or talk more about ways to support her, you can also reach out to us anytime.


    Advocate CC

  3. Next month, it will be two years since I escaped my abusive relationship. I didn’t realize I was in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t until one day when I was in school and saw something about “love can hurt” on a bulletin board. I realized then that I was hurt. My relationship was so bad that he almost killed me. I don’t know how I survived to this day, but I am thankful. I look back at my pain now and realize I was hurt physically, emotionally, and sexually. He raped me 7 times a weekend for a year. I have PTSD.

    I am so thankful for my support system. I was able to get free therapy for a few months through a crisis center and that saved me. I have the support of my therapist, family and friends.

    They ask me why I stayed. I still cannot answer that question, but I know one thing – I survived. I am now doing everything I can to help the DV community as I want to give back. Thanks for this site as it has taught me more about abuse that I didn’t know.

  4. Hi Katie,

    Thank you so much for being part of our online community and sharing your story! It sounds like you have been through an incredibly difficult experience, and your strength and resilience is so admirable! Support systems can be so helpful, and it is wonderful to hear that you have people in your life who have been supportive of you through this. His abuse was not your fault, and there is no excuse for the way he chose to treat you.

    There are all sorts of reasons why a survivor might not be ready to leave an abusive relationship or obstacles that are preventing them from taking those steps. We talk about some of those in this article and this one. You left when the time was right for you, and focusing on the fact that you did leave, you did survive, and now, prioritizing what you need in order to have the space and time to heal is completely justified.

    If you have any questions or concerns about what you experienced, or if you are interested in discussing options for continuing to expand your support system and self-care, please know that we are always here to provide a safe space for you to talk. Also, if anyone in your life feels that they may benefit from talking through how they might be a more effective support for you, they are more than welcome to reach out to us. We are here 24/7 by phone at 1-800-799-7233 or from 7am-2am CT through our chat in the top right corner at https://www.thehotline.org/.

    Take care!
    Advocate GR

  5. Thank you for your response. I never knew this existed like this. Its surprising to say the least. I’ll stay in contact with my sister always. I thought I knew what DV looked like but clearly I didn’t and I’m seeing a whole other side to the coin now. This issue encompasses so many areas and is so different from person to person. My ex wife and will be talking with our sons about this continually as they are getting older and will be dating soon. Thank you for all you do to make people aware of this issue and in giving a voice to victims like my sister.

  6. I have been desperately trying to seek help with my fight against domestic abuse. I have watched Kerry Washington bring an awareness to an abuse that has never been acknowledged. Although I applaud her and the efforts of those that put effort into this awareness…where is the Real help? Where is the legal aid that will help those of us in retrieving back child support, breaking the chains of a 15 year fight with an abuser? We encourage women to fight against the abuse, leave their abuser, break the chains, but who is there when we’ve done just that? I have emailed and spoken to almost every domestic abuse advocate and representative there is in California, but unless there is an organized institution to help those in their legal fight we are still in chains. I have been living a nightmare with my four children for 18 years, I have broken free, I received an education , I have raised and financially supported my family on my own, but unless I depend on social services; I am not offered any real resources. We can give great advice, we can tell women to be strong, but we are not helping women, just like me, unless we are offering real solutions. An affordable family attorney does not seem to exist unless I am under the poverty line. Its ridiculous to bring awareness if we are not providing real resources in breaking the chains of financial abuse. A purple purse is a symbol, the real help is in court. Let me know when we are truly helping women, I would love to share the wealth of information your organization has to offer…my children and I would love to receive some real help.

  7. This post has been modified to remove any personal information per our community guidelines.

    Hi Collene,

    Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. Having financial barriers to legal help is incredibly frustrating and unfair for you to face after working so hard to escape the abuse.You deserve to be able to find legal support and take the steps you need to retrieve your back child support and do what you need to fully escape your abuser. Every situation is different and there is no set way to navigate an abusive situation. If you would like to reach out to an advocate at The Hotline, we can look up local resources and programs for legal support. You can reach an advocate 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or through chat from 7am to 2am CST.

    Take Care,

    Hotline Advocate LC

  8. My boyfriend keeps hurting me physically and emotionally. He keeps telling me that im fat (im really not) and that im worthless and so many other girls are better looking than me. He says its his way of teasing me with love. Then when we fight he ends up hitting me and i get bruises and stuff all over and he tells me that i already know his problems about controlling himself but i still keep pushing him. Like its my fault that hes hurting me cause im so hard to deal with. I get so scared at times and all i can do is cry. I think il go crazy.

    Just a few minutes ago he punched me and hit my knee so hard all i could do is cry… i told him i hope karma gets him and he said maybe im the one who’s getting all the karma thats why this is happening to me. I hid under my blanket and cried my heart out and he asked me to keep quiet and was kind of threatening me that if i dont stop he’ll beat me up again…. Then for sure tomorrow when he wakes up he’s a different guy again…. A sweet guy who’ll blame everything on me

    Whenever he gets mad he keeps saying things like “if you dont stop il break your face or il punch you” and sometimes he would raise his fist up and threaten to punch me. And sometimes he actually does. He even strangles me sometimes and when i fight back he gets worse. Then after a while or the next day he would talk to me and tell me that the reason he did those things is bec i provoked him cause of my grumpy attitude or cause i shout. He calls me the provoker. I really dont… Im too scared to upset him but he wont listen to any sort of explanation and just expects me to forgive him and take all the blame

  9. I do not know if you are aware or not but purple and purple ribbons are lupus colors. I do not like the idea that when I Drive my pick up or wear one of my purple shirts with a purple ribbon on it that people think my husband abuses me because he’s a very good man supporting a sick woman. I have had this conversation with many of people and I don’t know what else to do unless we take it to Congress. Thank you.

  10. Hi, this may be of some help and may not, but a few years ago I needed help with custody of my child and I went to a place called SPUNK. It was an attorney who charged low fees and filed papers at courthouse for you. I do not remember if they did anything more than that. I just skimmed through your comment quickly so this may be way off target, but best of luck to you also. Sincerely, Diane

  11. I am also suffered same situation but I am in India. What I can do? Because financially also not good condition to fight against these situation

  12. Hi Anon,

    Thank you so much for being part of our online community and bravely sharing your experiences. It takes a lot of courage to talk about what you’re going through and you deserve all of the support and resources possible. You have the right to be safe physically, mentally and emotionally, and no one should violate that right. It sounds like you’ve recognized a lot of the emotionally abusive behaviors, like blame shifting and manipulation, that your boyfriend is using to take your power away and to control you. Emotional abuse is any sort of verbal criticism, put down, humiliation or manipulation. While physical abuse may leave visible scars, emotional abuse can be more damaging. For more info, visit: http://bit.ly/verbalabuse

    You don’t deserve to be hurt in any way and you are not responsible for the choices that your boyfriend is making. He is the only person in control of his decisions – what he says and does, and he is the only person responsible for those choices. If you’d like to talk more about your relationship, we’re here for you by phone (24/7 at 800-799-7233) and by chat (online every day from 7a-2a CST). Our advocates are here to be a safe place for you to talk, brainstorm safety planning ideas, and find out about local resources, if you’re interested.

    We’re here for you.

    Hotline Advocate AS

    (Please note: your comments were edited per our community guidelines, which can be found here.)

  13. Hi Laurie,

    I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences. I can understand how frustrating the confusion must be and I hear how upsetting it is that people misunderstand why you’re wearing purple. With the ever-increasing popularity of ribbons to show support for various causes, there has been quite a bit of overlap in colors and it makes sense that this overlap had created confusion. It sounds like you’ve encountered quite a few people who were concerned for your safety and you were able to take the opportunity to explain the meaning of your ribbon and your experience. Whatever the color of the ribbon, when it comes to encouraging the health, safety and well-being of every person, I believe that is a cause we can all support.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  14. Hello Anita,

    We’re so glad that you are part of our online community and know that we are here for you. You deserve to be safe and no one has the right to hurt you. While we’re not able to look up local resources outside of the U.S., we are here as a safe place for you to talk about what’s going on and discuss what options may be available, including planning for your safety. If you would like to reach out to our hotline or chat services if that’s a safe option for you. We are here 24/7 by phone at 1-800-799-7233 or from 7am-2am CT through our chat in the top right corner at https://www.thehotline.org/. If you want to talk more about the situation, feel free to reach out to us anytime.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  15. Hi Diane,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and resources with our community. Since legal resources are usually specific to a county or state, and not all lawyers or legal programs are specifically trained in domestic violence, we encourage anyone needing legal help to contact us so we can connect them with programs in their area. We greatly appreciate you wanting to offer support and information!

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

    *The original post was removed per our community guidelines, which are available here.

  16. I got attack by my husband because I wouldn’t agree with him and he beat me in the face over and over I don’t know how to feel anymore I fell broken and helpless I don’t think I’m I love anymore or if I can ever forgive him for such disrespect towards me I don’t trust him I feel like I’m walking on egg shells please help

  17. Hello Lanette,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with our community. It takes a lot of strength to talk about what you’re going through and to reach out for help. Your experience with your husband sounds incredibly hurtful- physically, emotionally and mentally. He had no right to hurt you in any way and I can understand why his choices have affected your trust. You have the right to be safe and he violated that right. You have the right to decide what you do next and our advocates are here for you. We are here to be a safe place for you to talk about what’s happened, your safety and your next steps. Feel free to chat with us online here, every day 7am – 2am CST, or give us a call at 800-799-7233 anytime 24/7.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  18. Please keep your case open with the County Child Support office!! I have 18 years of experience and it is well worth your while to do so. With the technology today, you have a better chance to recoup your back child support. The case will stay open as long as you live! I’ve seen people receive over $100,000 in a lump sum, money that was due to them for years, plus interest! Don’t give up!

  19. Hi Elizabeth,

    Thanks so much for the encouragement you’ve shared with our online community. We know it can be powerful to have support, especially from others that may have similar experiences. No one should feel alone as they work towards to safe, happy and healthy life they deserve.

    Thank you again!

    Hotline Advocate AS

  20. Daniel you have raised a lot of red flags. You were right to stand up for your sister. You described what he is doing – not allowing her to see friends and relatives. Her response already shows some of his behavior has her bullied. Be watchful. She may fear his retaliation. If they have children she might fear for their safety. Continue to be there for her; she will need your help later. Stay informed about the cycle of violence, and have information available if she asks for it. Peace be with you.

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