Thursday, January 31, 2008

February 4 - 8 is "National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week" in the US

Did you know that February 4 – 8 is “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week” in the US? Across the country, schools, community organizations and others will be providing awareness and education programs to focus on this issue.

One really great (and relatively new resource) founded by CAEPV Member Liz Claiborne Inc. is the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at or 1-866-331-9474. If you have not taken a look at this site, you should. It includes a “Teen Dating Bill of Rights” and videos submitted by teens for a “Love is Respect” contest – plus lots of helpful information! They also have "live chat" available several hours a day. This is important because teens (as opposed to adults) make important decisions based on information and advice they receive in the Web.

For younger “tweens” there is GirlsAllowed (, the award-winning website created by the Corporate Alliance. It is designed to help engage them in developing the building blocks of healthy relationships. And from the CDC there is which is also geared toward ages 11 – 14.

Finally, check out created by Break the Cycle and sponsored by CAEPV Members Verizon Wireless and The Avon Foundation.

Of course, these are not the only sites around, just some suggestions. For more links, visit the Teen Resources page on the CAEPV website.

I remember having a conversation with my dad when we first created "Anni" and GirlsAllowed and I was showing him the first three episodes. We were talking about how parents talk to their kids about so many other important things -- but not healthy dating relationships or how to spot potential abuse.

He said, "It never entered my mind to talk to you about someone treating you badly, because I never thought anyone would ever treat you that way." I said, "Dad, that is exactly the reason we created the site-- for parents like you that assume that the people dating their daughters and sons will treat them well. " He thought that made a lot of sense. (And he thought Anni was pretty cool!)

So -- if you have tweens or teens, or are an adult who cares about them, take the opportunity to take a look at these sites and get educated. The kids we love deserve the very best, don't they?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Verizon Wireless Collected More Than One Million Old Phones in 2007 - And Domestic Violence Victims Benefit

CAEPV Member Verizon Wireless recently announced that consumers and businesses across the country gave 1,068,000 old and no-longer-used wireless phones in 2007 to the company's long-running HopeLine(R) phone recycling and reuse program. The record number represents the most phones collected in one year by HopeLine, and is an increase of more than 15 percent from last year's total of 910,000 phones. That is a LOT of phones, folks!!

The record collection enabled the HopeLine program, which benefits domestic violence prevention and awareness programs, to award more than $1.7 million in cash grants, generated by the sale of refurbished phones, to more than 330 domestic violence agencies and organizations nationwide.

In 2007, Verizon Wireless also provided nearly 20,000 wireless phones to domestic violence agencies around the country for use by their clients. These HopeLine phones, with 60 million minutes of service in total, or the equivalent of 117 years of nonstop minutes, are valued at $6 million, and are used by victims and survivors of domestic violence to rebuild their lives. Since the October 2001 launch of Verizon Wireless' national recycling program, the company has collected more than 4.5 million phones and awarded nearly $5 million in cash grants to organizations working to prevent and end domestic violence. HopeLine has also distributed more than 60,000 phones with more than 160 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by victims of domestic violence.

The HopeLine program also includes #HOPE, which can be dialed from any Verizon Wireless handset to immediately connect to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The Hotline provides professional support and referrals to people involved in domestic violence, as well as those who want to help friends and family. The call to #HOPE is toll- and airtime-free.

Keep in mind that no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from ANY wireless service provider are collected in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores nationwide. For more information on Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program and to learn how to donate a wireless phone, visit

It is such a simple idea and it makes a huge difference -- just drop your old wireless phone off at any Verizon Wireless store and know that domestic violence victims in your area will be helped. That is the other cool thing -- the funds collected in a particular area stay in that area.

It reminds me -- I have a phone I need to drop off at the local Verizon Wireless store. How about you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Want to Help Victims of Domestic Violence? Visit "" to Raise Funds from The Allstate Foundation

On January 16, CAEPV Members The Allstate Foundation and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Fund launched an e-mail campaign to bring people to, a special Web site created to educate readers about the devastating impact of financial abuse and raise critical funding to support victims of domestic violence. For each person who visits and clicks the "Click to Empower" button, $1 will be donated by The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program to the Education and Job Training Assistance (EJTA) Fund, with a total contribution of up to $300,000. The EJTA Fund helps domestic violence survivors pursue long-term financial security by providing vital financial assistance for education, training and job-related expenses.

The Allstate Foundation takes a unique stance on the issue of domestic violence by focusing its efforts on providing tools that help survivors move toward economic independence. Experts report that economic control is a tactic commonly used by abusers to prevent their victims from leaving abusive situations. Abusers often block access to money and/or other financial resources including credit cards, bank accounts or the ability to work outside the home.

"Our goal is to help survivors achieve an economic independence that they may not realize was possible," said Jennifer Kuhn, Domestic Violence Program Manager, The Allstate Foundation. "The Allstate Foundation is excited about the ClicktoEmpower campaign and is confident that through Allstate colleagues, friends, families and advocates we will reach our goal of $300,000."
A domestic violence survivor's ability to attain economic security is dependent upon the availability of:

· Social and economic supports, including child support, child care, transportation, and public benefits;
· Jobs that provide a living wage, and offer benefits as well as opportunities for career advancement;
· Education and job training programs, or other opportunities to gain the skills necessary to obtain and retain a job that pays a living wage.

However, traditional financial aid resources often do not address these barriers. The EJTAF was established by The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program to channel small grants, up to $1,000 each, to adult domestic violence survivors to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their educational and professional goals. The EJTAF covers education, training and job-related expenses including:

· Books and supplies for school
· Job skills training
· Certification fees
· Tuition
· Registration fees
· Requirements for jobs, such as uniforms
· Child care
· Public transportation
· Fees for computer access

"With the Education and Job Training Assistance Fund, a little goes a long way. In many communities a $1,000 grant can help a survivor take a 10-week computer training course and pay for childcare and transportation while in the course," said Sue Else, President, NNEDV Fund. "That's the difference between having to remain with an abuser to keep a roof over your children's head and having the opportunity to live a free, safe and successful life."

For many domestic violence survivors economic advocacy is critical to their long term self-sufficiency. For additional information on The Allstate Foundation economic empowerment programs please visit

I think things like this are so cool! Not only does money get raised, but people get educated on the "stories" of survivors of domestic violence. And I think this is just a great program -- funding "little things" like a course or books or transportation really is not a "little thing" at all -- it is actually huge! Thank goodness for the stance of The Allstate Foundation on this issue - they understand the importance of a person being able to have economic stability and independence and literacy. You can't "pull yourself up" by your own bootstraps if you don't have any bootstraps, right?

I also have to give a bit of disclaimer here that I sit on The Allstate Foundation Advisory Board for the Domestic Violence program so I am a total fan of this project!

I - for one - have already clicked, already passed the site along, and will be clicking every day until the goal is reached!

I hope you will click to empower, too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Bottom Line - Domestic Violence Impacts Employee Health and Productivity

Have you seen the “Blueprint for Health”? It is a calculator tool is available to help companies estimate their health and productivity costs. You can take a look at it by clicking here. It was created by Riedel & Associates, a health and productivity management consulting firm, and other organizations involved in building the tool include the Health as Human Capital Foundation, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the National Business Coalition on Health. In addition, pharmaceutical maker Sanofi-Aventis U.S. supported the effort with a grant and a national advisory committee of corporate medical directors and benefits experts also helped steer the project.

While this is really great, you know what I find interesting? In all the variables they are looking at affecting productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism, nowhere do they seem to address or acknowledge the role of domestic violence. They cannot look at everything, I realize. But, I still find this fascinating.

So -- what do we know about the impact of domestic violence on the workplace:
  • We know that 21% of full-time employed adults are victims of domestic violence according to a survey of 1,200 of them that the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence did in 2005
  • In a survey we released in September 2007, we found that 1 in 4 female employees in Fortune 1500 workplaces are victims of domestic violence -- and 90% of employees think managers should be trained to recognize the signs of domestic violence
  • The CDC indicates that intimate partner violence victims lose a total of nearly 8.0 million days of paid work—the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs—and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of the violence. They estimate the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence at $727.8 million per year
  • The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services and productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • A study from the United Kingdom estimates time off work due to injuries caused by domestic violence costs employers and workers nearly 5.4 billion US dollars a year. Approximately half the costs of such absence is borne by the employer, and half by the individual in lost wages.
  • Researchers from the University of Arkansas found that women who were victims of recent domestic violence had 26 percent more time lost to tardiness and absenteeism than non-victims.

(If you want to read more, visit the "FACTS and STATS" area of the CAEPV website at

And on it goes. . .

So, it seems to me while domestic violence is not the ONLY thing impacting health and productivity, it is certainly has an impact. And companies that have enlightened self-interest recognize this and want to do something about it.

About a year ago I was talking to an official who has responsibilities for addressing worker health and productivity issues for a large Fortune 100 company and we were talking about the potential impact that domestic violence could be having on this company's workforce. The person indicated they had not really considered things in quite that way before and decided to change some metrics to begin measuring for this issue.

I talked with this individual several months after the implementation of this new metric involving domestic violence and the person said they were BLOWN AWAY by how much domestic violence was impacting the workforce just in the small area they were measuring.

The official said, "If it this measurement trend continues, then domestic violence is significantly impacting our workforce in a way we cannot begin to imagine."

I think that Fortune 100 official was definitely right.

By the way, if you DO want to use a “Cost Calculator” for domestic violence, check out the one created by CAEPV Member Texas Health Resources by clicking here!

And, as always, there are all sorts of resources to assist employers at the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence website at

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wishes for 2008

What do I wish for in 2008? I wish for less domestic violence in the world. I wish for everyone the feeling of safety and security at home -- the one place we should all feel secure and loved. No one should feel afraid of the people who love them. No child, no adult, no older person. No one.

And for the domestic violence that is still with us, I wish for more and more workplaces willing to recognize the impact on employees and to recognize the warning signs, respond appropriately in the context of workplace behavior and performance, and appropriately and compassionately refer employees to the resources and services that can assist them -- both within the workplace and externally in the community. ANY employer can take simple steps to address the issue at work -- after all, it is affecting 21% of full time employed adults according to a survey the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence did in 2005 and benchmarked in 2007. For more information, visit and

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Justice Statistics just released updated numbers for 2005 indicating that there were more than more than 560,000 intimate partner victimizations in this country in 2005 – and sadly domestic homicides against women rose from 2004 to 2005. On average in 2005, more than three women a day were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S. The new report is available at

So -- we have a long way to go. But the only way to get there is together. Families, workplaces, faith communities, social service agencies, schools, law enforcement, the judicial and legal system, the medical community, neighborhoods, friends. . .all working together to put an end to domestic violence. Helping each other.

Me? I am here trying to do what I can where I live each day to help and I am so thankful for the wonderful people I work with across the US and around the world who are so committed to making domestic violence "Everybody's Business." They are truly an inspiration and they give me hope.

I wish for everyone peace in 2008 -- and let it begin in our homes.