Friday, April 23, 2010

Telling Amy's Story - Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence

Telling Amy's Story follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred in central Pennsylvania on November 8, 2001.  Amy's parents, co-workers, law enforcement officers, and court personnel share their perspectives on what happened to Amy in the weeks, months, and years leading up to her death.

Amy was a Verizon Wireless employee, and the Verizon Foundation is a sponsor of this documentary. I think it is a wonderful tribute to her that they are honoring her memory in this way, and finding a way to reach others to share that domestic violence is, indeed "Everybody's Business."

And while the documentary cannot change the ending to Amy's story, it is the hope of those involved in making the documentary and the accompanying toolkit that telling her story can change the outcomes for the millions of victims, survivors, and loved ones affected by domestic violence everyday.

You can help in the fight to end domestic violence. SHARE this film, DISCUSS it with others, and REFER those in need to the film’s companion online toolkit at  If you need to know how to create a program to help create a safer workplace for employees like Amy, visit our website at

To find out more about Telling Amy's Story, visit  You can view the trailer at The documentary will be available on Public Broadcasting Stations beginning June 1, 2010.

I hope you will share and learn.  And I hope you will also tell Amy's story.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

April 18 through 24 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2010 in the United States.  The theme for this year's National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW)  is Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect. Visit  to learn more.

Since April is Child Abuse Awareness Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it seems appropriate to pause and think about these these issues in terms of crimes...and how not very long ago they were not considered crimes at all in the US.  And in many countries they are not crimes at all.

Fairness. Dignity. Respect. I recently had a humbling and life-changing opportunity to meet people from 15 different countries doing amazing work to give fairness, dignity and respect and rights to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking across the world.  The work these people do is amazing. The obstacles they overcome are daunting. Not only do they lack resources and support for the work they do...their very lives are threatened when they do it.

I was honored to be in the same room as these heroes -- and to hear from them and learn from them what it means to give dignity and respect to people in the most dire of circumstances.  (Learn more here:

Fairness. Dignity. Respect.  We should strive for these in our our our communities.  And when it does not exist for others, let us work to make a world where it does.

Thank you to all of you who do so on a daily basis.

Thank you to you who create workplaces that help victims of violence, workplaces that don't tolerate bullying, workplaces that uplift employees and their gifts and abilities so that your workplaces are actually more productive and viable.

Thank you to you who are parents who create healthy and loving homes for your children.  Or as educators or caretakers you create healthy and safe environments for young people.

Thank you to you who work "in the field" to give a voice to those who don't have one...or who cannot speak for themselves.

During National Crime Victims' Rights Week and beyond let us always consider Fairness. Dignity. Respect. -- not only for victims of crime.. but for everyone.

Monday, April 12, 2010

National Teen Dating Violence State Law Report Cards Released - How Did Your State Do?

Break the Cycle ( ) the nation’s leading dating abuse prevention organization, recently released its 2010 State Law Report Cards: A National Survey of Teen Dating Violence Laws, which grade how well states protect minors from abusive relationships.

The 2010 Report Cards are expanded to include information about school-based response to dating abuse as well as accessibility of other related services for teens. Each state’s report card also includes specific policy recommendations to help guide on-the-ground efforts to improve these laws.

This year, Break the Cycle updated the grading system with assistance from researchers at the University of Minnesota. Among others, some of the criteria used in grading included: can minors receive protection orders; do dating relationships qualify under the law; and, do same sex couples have access to legal protections? Break the Cycle received pro bono support from independent law firm Latham and Watkins, LLP to compile the 2009 state law statutes.

Sample of Key Findings:

• New Hampshire (A) receives the highest score because it is the only state which allows minors of any age to petition for protection orders without parental involvement.

• Arizona (B) and the District of Columbia (A) improved their laws since last year’s report. Arizona now allows people to qualify for protection orders if they are in a dating relationship with their abuser. In DC, teens as young as 12 can now petition for protection orders without parental notification.

• Ohio receives an F in the 2010 Report, but Governor Ted Strickland recently signed into law a bill mandating violence prevention education in schools and clarifying the state’s restraining order statutes, allowing minors and people in dating relationships to legally protect themselves. Changes take effect later this year and will be reflected in the 2011 Report.

• Pennsylvania (D) is considering a bill mandating violence prevention education in schools. Though not a factor in the 2010 grades, this statute could work in their favor for the 2011 report.

• Kentucky (F) has pending legislation, House Bill 30, that would allow victims of abuse in dating relationships to access protection orders. If the bill passes, Kentucky’s grade could rise to a B, based on Break the Cycle’s current metrics.

2010 State Law Report Cards Grades

• Only six states and the District of Columbia (14%) receive A’s – CA, IL, NH, OK, RI and WA

• Fifteen states (29%) receive B’s – AK, AZ, DE, FL, IN, ME, MA, MN, MS, NJ, NM, NY, TN, VT and WV

• Sixteen states (31%) receive C’s – AR, CO, CT, HI, ID, IA, KS, LA, MD, MI, MT, NE, NV, NC, TX and WY

• Four states (8%) receive D’s – ND, PA, OR and WI

• Nine states (18%) receive F’s – AL, GA, KY, MO, OH, SC, SD, UT and VA

 For more information and to download a complete copy of the 2010 Teen Dating Violence State Report Cards, please visit

Monday, April 05, 2010


Here's a really easy way to help the environment...and victims of domestic violence.

CAEPV Member Verizon Wireless joins the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cell phone manufacturers and other retailers in the second annual Plug-In To eCycling National Cell Phone Recycling Week. This year's activities take place from April 5-11, and Verizon Wireless encourages consumers to visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store or to use a free mailing label available at  to recycle their old wireless phones, batteries and accessories throughout the week.

All phone donations to Verizon Wireless support HopeLine®, the company's long-running phone recycling and reuse program that benefits victims of domestic violence and supports prevention and awareness efforts. Last April, consumers donated more than 90,000 wireless phones to HopeLine, becoming an important part of Verizon Wireless' ability to recycle more than 1 million phones through this program for the third consecutive year.

Phones given to HopeLine will be refurbished for reuse or will be disposed of in an environmentally sound way under a zero landfill policy. Thousands of the refurbished phones are distributed to domestic violence shelters to be used by victims and survivors as they create safety plans and rebuild their lives.

Since 2001, through HopeLine's efforts, more than 7 million phones have been collected and kept out of landfills, and more than 1.6 million no-longer-used wireless phones have been disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Additional proceeds from HopeLine provide financial support to non-profit domestic violence advocacy agencies across the country. To learn more about Hopeline, visit  

Plug-In To eCycling's National Cell Phone Recycling Week 2010 is a joint effort with leading cell phone manufacturers, service providers and retailers to increase the awareness and recycling rates for cell phones. Plug-In To eCycling encourages Americans nationwide to donate or recycle their unwanted cell phones during the week of April 5-11, 2010. For additional information and to find cell phone recycling locations near you, please visit: