Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What A Cool Person!

This poem was sent to me by an amazing person I know -- this person works in one of our CAEPV member companies, and is a domestic violence survivor. I think a lot of times a highly employed, educated, well-dressed, well-spoken, talented, person like this is just the kind that people assume, "Well, it doesn't happen to people like that -- they are too much like ME."

I am here to tell you it DOES happen to people like me. Like you. Like your best friend. Like your neighbor. Like your sister. Like your brother. Like your co-worker. Like your boss. It can happen to anyone.

A.B shares, "I wrote this last night. . .from the eyes of a domestic violence survivor, but yet, still a victim."

(By A.B. Hurley © 2007)

Pain and hurt.
That's what I feel.
Too much confusion.
Nothing feels real

Blinded by tears.
Now I can't see.
Too much anger,
And it's slowly killing me

Empty and cold.
Ice covering my heart.
Too much unforgiveness
tearing me apart

I'm drowning.
I'm sinking.
I'm losing
this fight.

Who stirred the love in my heart
and then tainted it?

A.B. Hurley -- you are one amazing person! Thank you for your courage -- and for helping others through sharing your life and your heart.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Central Illinois Men Against Domestic Abuse Marching in Labor Day Parade

This coming Labor Day weekend, a bunch of men that are affiliated with the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (www.caepv.org) -- and many that are not -- are doing something I think is so cool -- they are marching with a float in a local Labor Day parade in Bloomington, Illinois.

The guys have named themselves Central Illinois Men Against Domestic Abuse (http://www.myspace.com/cimada_il) and have patterned themselves after another group they learned about in Gloucester, MA. Their goal is to have at least 500 men sign a petition against domestic violence and to have at least 100 men marching in the parade this coming weekend. They started this just a few months ago, so it has been cool to watch the progress of this idea from a thought to a reality and to see their enthusiasm in spreading the word through their community and to their friends and neighbors.

These are not guys who are the "usual suspects" -- you know, guys who already work in the field of domestic violence. These are guys who own businesses, who work at State Farm, who are pastors, who are high school principals, who are in law enforcement, who are community leaders. These are just regular guys who care about this issue and want to get involved.

It has been really wonderful to watch the guys who are part of the Corporate Alliance get involved in the community and learn more about domestic violence and then reach out like this -- they are just so passionate and caring about the issue.

You go guys!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

(Un)Safe Film Depicts What Happens When Abuse At Home Invades the Workplace

One in five employed adults is a victim of domestic violence. But what happens when abuse at home invades the workplace? (Un)Safe, an original, live-performance drama, has helped more than 350 executives at more than 70 companies explore this question since CAEPV Member Safe Horizon commissioned the work in 2005. (Un)Safe is the centerpiece of the education and training component of SafeWork, a national movement to help corporate leaders keep their employees safe and protect their company’s bottom line. I was privileged to have helped create the original live performance drama that premiered in 2005.

But now, even more companies can benefit. A short film version of (Un)Safe is in production through the generous support of CAEPV Member Altria Group. It is being directed by James Ponsoldt, who wrote and directed a feature film called “Off the Black” that debuted at the most recent Sundance Film Festival.

The new (Un)Safe film not only enables a deeper depiction of the impact of domestic violence on a corporate executive, her children, her colleagues, and her company, but also ensures that SafeWork trainings will have a wider reach in corporations throughout the country.

The film premiere for (Un)Safe will be hosted by actress Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit on the evening of SafeWork’s National Launch date, September 25th

The launch date is special, because it is Liz Claiborne's third National "It's Time to Talk Day." You can learn more at http://www.caepv.org/about/program_detail.php?refID=29).

A question and answer session with the director and cast will follow the screening. The film will also be used for the first time earlier that day as part of a SafeWork training and information session. I will be working with Kristen Illes of Safe Horizon as we "use" the film for the first time in a SafeWork training on the 25th.

It has been amazing to watch the live drama transform to this film. It is truly a tool that I believe will help managers understand what happens to victims of domestic violence in a way that no "talking points" can. I can't wait for September 25! And it is pretty cool that Mariska Hargitay is hosting the "film premiere" -- I must say! I think this is just one more way to draw attention to the importance of this issue and help employers understand their role in addressing domestic violence as a workplace issue.

If you are interested in learning more about SafeWork, you can check out Safe Horizon's website at http://www.safehorizon.org/page.php?nav=fp_sw&page=safework.

Friday, August 10, 2007


This week I am just "shamelessly plugging" a free web conference that I am participating in -- I think it will be pretty cool because it is mostly dialogue and lots of resources! If you are interested, here is the information:

Date and Time: August 15, 2007 - 2 PM Eastern Time, 1 PM Central, 12 PM Mountain, 11 AM Pacific

Host: David Lee, Prevention Connection
Presenters: Larry Cohen & Elizabeth Waiters, Prevention Institute

Kim Wells, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence
Douglas Leach, Blue Shield Against Violence, Blue Shield of California Foundation
Johnny Lee, Peace at Work
Keshia M. Pollack, Ph.D., MPH, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Registration: Registration is now open. Click here to register. This session will be restricted to the first 400 people who sign up.

Cost: Free

Learning Objectives:
Explore how to most effectively incorporate primary prevention (domestic violence) into the workplace setting

Hear from those who have made changes for violence prevention in the business sector
Experiment with the use of technology

What is a Web Conference? A web conference is an opportunity to attend an online workshop by watching the presentation from your computer screen (using a regular internet connection) and hearing the presentation through your telephone. Web conferences feature opportunities to participate in online question & answering session and a live text chat between participants. If for some reason you are unable to join on your computer, you can print out slides of presentations and listen along on the phone.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Reese Witherspoon Is Avon's Global Ambassador

Avon Products, Inc. announced earlier this week that it signed world-renowned, Oscar-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon, as the company’s first ever Global Ambassador. In this newly-established role, Ms. Witherspoon will serve as the Honorary Chairman of CAEPV Member the Avon Foundation, focusing on breast cancer, domestic violence and emergency relief initiatives, and she will be the spokeswoman for Avon’s beauty brands and Sales Representatives.

The Avon Foundation and Ms. Witherspoon will partner in raising awareness for the Foundation’s programs in the areas of breast cancer, domestic violence and emergency relief. The Avon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 1955 with the mission of championing the health and well being of women globally through its philanthropic efforts.

“I am very excited to be partnering with Avon. Avon is more than an iconic world class beauty leader — it is a company that is known the world over as a crusader for women’s causes,” said Ms. Witherspoon. “I am truly impressed by how Avon has been able to effect real change in the communities in which it does business, and by how committed the company is to providing economic and personal fulfillment to women all over the world. I feel a great responsibility in my own life to give back to society. Now, as the Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation, I am proud to be joining in the great philanthropic work that is already underway.”

I think this is really cool -- I have noticed how much attention this has drawn to the issue of domestic violence since the announcement. People really admire Reese Witherspoon and her attention on the issue may cause them to think about it as they never have before.

Salma Hayek has also been involved with the Avon Foundation and with the issue of domestic violence and has been an outspoken celebrity regarding its effects on families. I remember hearing her speak about it, and I will never forget one thing she said. Ms. Hayek said people often ask her why she is involved with talking about domestic violence when she was not involved in it personally.

Here is the quote that stuck with me: "People ask me, 'Why are YOU involved in this issue?', and I ask, 'Why are you NOT?" (Salma Hayek)