Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Time to Talk Day, SafeWork, and Stories

Next Tuesday is the fourth annual It’s Time to Talk Day – a day for people throughout the US to talk about domestic violence. In Central Illinois, we have 23 organizations – businesses, the media, community agencies, units of government, universities, law enforcement, the judiciary, service organizations, student groups – all coming together to do all sorts of really cool things to draw attention to domestic violence.

In New York, we will be celebrating the “Day” by kicking off the National Launch of SafeWork 2010 – a challenge to CEOs across the country to get 200 of them to sign a pledge to address domestic violence proactively within their workplaces by 2010. We are doing this in conjunction with our members Safe Horizon. CEOs that have already signed on include Tom Wilson from Allstate, Andrea Jung from Avon, Bill McComb from Liz Claiborne, Andrea Wong from Lifetime Entertainment Services, David Holl from Mary Kay Inc., Andrew R. Urban from Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C., Dr. Robert Pearl from Kaiser Permanente, Emanuel Chirico from Phillips-Van Heusen and David Eslick from USI Holdings. That is a great start!

Here is what we have going on:

CEO Roundtable and Media Briefing
Q&A Session with CEO Panel and questions from the media, including screening of (Un)Safe film and launch of SafeWork 2010
CAEPV, Liz Claiborne, and Safe Horizon will release results of new surveys about the impact of domestic violence in the workplace in conjunction with the launch of SafeWork 2010

SafeWork Education and Training Event
Facilitated training and discussion regarding the impact of domestic violence on the workplace, using (Un)Safe film

(Un)Safe Film premiere
Screening of (Un)Safe at the Museum of Modern Art.
VIP Reception and Cocktail party hosted by Mariska Hargitay, Safe Horizon Board Member and star of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU

It is going to be a great day – but domestic violence is always closer than you think.

I was at an event two days ago talking with two professional gentlemen from Verizon. They were there because their company has a long-term commitment to this issue. However, it was not long before both of them were sharing their stories about domestic violence -- friends they knew who they thought were nice guys but who turned out to be abusive. A family member who was abusive and so they were raised a different way. It was just so close to them.

If you "take a moment" to look around, to learn, and to listen, you may find out that domestic violence is closer than you think. And if you do, I hope you will take the time to ask if someone is safe, and to let them know you care.

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