Thursday, September 24, 2009

October 6 - A Time to Talk About Domestic Violence in Central Illinois

October 6th has been designated as “It’s Time to Talk Day” throughout Central Illinois. Thanks to our CAEPV members located in this area for their partnership with local agencies and organizations involved in this effort! It is amazing!

Wouldn’t it be great to have a single day where we turn to one another and actually talk about an issue that you may not realize is more common than breast cancer? An issue that by its nature makes people uncomfortable -- domestic violence.

The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, in partnership with 28 other local organizations and Liz Claiborne Inc., has designated October 6, 2009, as “It’s Time to Talk Day” in Central Illinois, hoping to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault and get people talking about these pervasive social issues.

This year’s theme for “It’s Time to Talk Day” is Healthy Children, Healthy Families— highlighting the impact of domestic violence on children throughout the lifespan. Participating community organizations hope to educate the community about the impact of domestic violence on children – not just as victims but as witnesses – and how this affects them through their lives. In addition, solutions will be discussed to help the community understand what local resources are available for victims, survivors and their families.

Among the highlighted events happening throughout “It’s Time to Talk Day” is a free conference featuring experts discussing the impact of domestic violence through the different stages of the lifespan. The conference, “It’s Not Child’s Play: Trauma Lasts A Lifetime” will be held at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Memorial Center on October 6.

Honorable Paul Lawrence, Associate Judge and Chair of the 11th Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council said, “This conference, along with all of the day’s events, are important to help educate the community in understanding the life-long impact of domestic violence on our community. If we can stop it early, we can make a difference.”

McLean County State’s Attorney Bill Yoder said “The devastating and long lasting impact of domestic violence on the smallest members of our community cannot be overstated or ignored. The more we do to help now, the more we take a step toward healthier children, healthier families and a healthier violence free community.”

Verizon will conduct a HopeLine drive for no longer used cell phones during “It’s Time to Talk Day.” HopeLine is Verizon Wireless’ signature program which turns no longer used wireless phones into support for victims of domestic violence. The collected phones are either refurbished or sold, with the proceeds used to purchase newer wireless phones for domestic violence victims and to support domestic violence shelters and organizations.

“The phones donated to HopeLine do more than just provide emergency communications,” said Kim Wells, Executive Director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. “The phones give victims the courage to venture beyond the safety of their homes, to go to work, or to go shopping and take their children to school, knowing that, if they are threatened, help is just a phone call away.”

You can make a difference on October 6! Talk to someone in your life about the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. If you are not sure how to get the conversation started please see Liz Claiborne’s educational handbooks, which are designed to give you practical and easy advice on ways to begin to talk about the issue. The handbooks are available at

For a complete list of events, visit:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Are YOU Doing For Domestic Violence Awareness Month? (Or. . .Where is All the Purple?)

I wrote this last year and was thinking about it again this year. I have some updated thoughts. . .but the idea remains the same.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I realize it is also a month to recognize a lot of other really important health and other issues -- most notably breast cancer. But while you see a lot of "pink" around, do you see a lot of "purple"? (Purple is the color that represents domestic violence awareness like pink represents breast cancer awareness.)

I have seen pink mixers, pink bras, pink baseball bats, pink shoes. . . you name it. But why not purple? I have some guesses. (We were really excited in my office when we saw Yahoo's purple campaign because we thought surely they would have SOMETHING about purple and domestic violence. . .but no. So -- we have asked them to consider this really important reason that purple is "cool." We will see what they do.)

A long time ago, no one talked about breast cancer -- they kept it a secret, and somehow it was a "shame" and was their fault. But that has changed, and we no longer blame breast cancer victims. We call them survivors. And we honor them. And we should.

Now -- with domestic violence, we are not exactly there. We are uncomfortable with it because we are not really sure what "causes" it, whose "fault" it is, what we should do about it, or how to even say something to someone. I don't know all the reasons. I just know this -- it is highly uncomfortable for us.

But put all that aside for a moment. I think we can all agree that the one place everyone should be safe and secure is in their own homes where they should feel loved and cherished. And I think we can all learn a bit about how to be healthier in our own relationships (which is also a source of discomfort for us, I think) and also learn how to recognize if someone is in a relationship that is perhaps not as healthy or safe as it could be.

I am not sure it "matters" that I "get" everything about someone else's relationship-- I am really clear that no one deserves to be hit. Or slapped. Or to have things thrown at them. Or to be intimidated. Or for their children to be afraid.

Maybe for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it would be good if we could all do what 30 organizations and businesses in Central Illinois are asking people to do on October 6 and just learn to talk about this -- not argue about it, not decide if it is a "men's thing" or a "women's thing" but just realize it is a thing that impacts everyone. Don't we want everyone to be better and live safely?

Spread the purple!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hurriyet "Liberty Is Our Right" Human Rights Train Departs for Children

On September 9, our CAEPV Member in Turkey -- Hurriyet (a newspaper group) -- launched its “Liberty is Our Right Train” for a second year – this time focusing on children's rights and the environment. The journey began in Izmir and will end on October 29 in Istanbul – visiting 41 stations in 33 cities and 8 boroughs throughout Turkey.

The “Human Rights Train Project” is a partnership of Hurriyet Newspaper and Turkish Railways. The aim of the “Liberty is Our Right Train” is to insert the concept of rights into people’s daily lives, inform them of the rights they possess based on declarations such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

There will be a variety of activities at the stations such as music, theater plays, exhibitions, forums, and workshops, and other events. Because 2009 is the 20th anniversary of Turkey signing the UN Declaration of Child Rights, these activities are designed to keep children’s rights, the theme of this year, in primary focus.

Hurriyet’s hallmark “Say No to Domestic Violence!” Campaign will also be part of these events at every stop.

And while you may not be able to read Turkish, you will be able to get the sense of all that is going on by visiting . Trust me, it is worth taking a look!

I love the way that Hurriyet goes out of their way to find ways to reach out - they take the message to the people - by train or by bus. People are always surprised when I tell them we have a CAEPV member in Turkey. . .and when I tell them all that Hurriyet does to spread the message regarding domestic violence and human rights, they are even more surprised.

Is there a newspaper group in the US doing the same? If there is, I'd love to know about it. Hurriyet certainly sets a great example.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

S2 Webinar: "Domestic Violence and the Workplace - A Multi-Disciplinary Approach from Liz Claiborne Inc." Audio/Video Recording Now Available!

On August 25 we held the S2 Webinar: Domestic Violence and the Workplace – A Multi-Disciplinary Response from Liz Claiborne. It was a wonderful session thanks to the representatives of the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) of Liz Claiborne and we are so thankful to them for time and expertise.

An audio/visual recording of the webinar is now available for download at All materials are also available for download there.

Please also review previous webinars and all materials from our S2 project at

If you do check it out, let me know what you think!