Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Look Good In All You Do?

I could not believe my eyes.  I could not believe the print ad.

"Look good in all you do."

It is for a salon in Canada.  Sounds ok, right?

However, the woman in the print ad is seated on a couch and clearly a victim of domestic violence.  The ad intimates "Domestic violence is ok...as long as your hair looks good."

Did the salon owner make a mistake?  No.

She says she'd do it again.  You can read about it here: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/29/salon-defends-controversial-ads.  You can also see the print ad.  I did not want to post the image on the blog.

Clearly this salon owner does not think she has any clients who are victims of domestic violence -- or any employees.  Because if she did, she would take it much more seriously.

I am guessing she hasn't taken advantage of the training and resources offered through the "Cut It Out" program that teach salon professionals how to recognize the signs of abuse in their clients and how to direct them to resources in the community.

I am mad. I am sad.  I am thinking of the people she sees everyday who wear the scars of domestic violence on the inside and she does not realize that when she helps them "look good in all they do" --  she could also be helping them in so many other ways.

"Dorothy" eloquently explains (much better than I ever could) why "Look Good In All You Do" is a really bad idea: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/08/31/domestic-abuse-ad-stirs-dark-memories.

There are a lot of things in life to use to make an ironic statement.  Or to take lightly.

This just isn't one of them.  

UPDATE:  Since I wrote this post this morning, the salon owner has apologized. She's also indicated that if someone comes into the salon with the print ad, she'll make a donation to a local domestic violence shelter.  So perhaps some good - and some good conversation - has come of this.  (You can read the update here: http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110830/edm_salon_110830/20110830/?hub=EdmontonHome)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NO MORE Project - Working Together to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Over the past year and a half, representatives from several domestic violence and sexual assault organizations have been coming together with a small group of funders and private sector volunteers to work on an exciting new effort called The NO MORE Project. The NO MORE Project is about creating a new, over-arching visual symbol to help raise public awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. Like the red AIDS ribbon or the peace sign, we hope this symbol will help augment and connect the efforts of domestic violence and sexual assault organizations large and small, supplementing rather than replacing our existing logos and brands. We also hope it will be widely adopted by members of the public, to express their solidarity with us on these issues.

We hope those in the field will be able to join us as on a national Web conference to preview The NO MORE Project:

1pm Eastern Time (10am Pacific, 11am Mountain, 12pm Central)
http://tinyurl.com/3owfptd to register

4pm Eastern Time (1pm Pacific, 2pm Mountain, 3pm Central)
http://tinyurl.com/4543s6r to register

Space is limited. If the session you want to attend is full, please join the waiting list: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NOMORE

Project Presenters will include:

  • Sue Else, National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • Monika Johnson Hostler, National Alliance to End Sexual Assault
  • Darlene Johnson, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Rita Smith, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Delilah Rumberg, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
  • Jane Randel, Liz Claiborne

We've been fortunate to have the pro bono input of some of America's leading creative thinkers, including the executive editor of PEOPLE magazine, the former president of Oprah Winfrey's television network, the founder of Women & Co at CitiGroup, the former president of the (RED) campaign, and an ad executive who helped create the "Priceless" campaign for MasterCard. One of the nation's leading branding agencies (Sterling Brands) stepped forward with pro bono creative. Together, we have developed a symbol, created a verbal communication plan, and conducted focus groups and quantitative research. We will be sharing all of the exciting findings at the Web conference!

We have broad representation from across the domestic violence and sexual assault fields. The Steering and Executive Committees for the project include (in alphabetical order): A Call to Men, Allstate Foundation, Avon Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Casa de Esperanza, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Futures Without Violence, Joyful Heart Foundation, Liz Claiborne Foundation, Men Can Stop Rape, National Alliance to End Sexual Assault, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Safe Horizon, Verizon Foundation, and the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Let's work together to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Registration Now Open: Domestic Violence and the Workplace - Three Case Studies in Practice


"Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Three Case Studies in Practice" -- an educational opportunity provided through the CAEPV HopeLine® from Verizon Webinar Series.


Friday, September 23, 2011
2:00 PM- 3:30 PM ET
1:00 PM- 2:30 PM CT
11:00 AM- 12:30 PM PT


A recent survey of CEOs found that most believe domestic violence to be a serious issue, yet 71% did not believe it is a problem in their company. The reality is that approximately 21% of full-time working adults report being a victim of domestic violence.

This webinar will examine current practices of employers addressing domestic violence as a workplace issue from three unique perspectives.


M. Alan Gardner, Vice President, Human Resources, Verizon Wireless
Kim Wells, Executive Director, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence


  • Jane Randel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Brand Services, Liz Claiborne Inc.
  • Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, Vice President, Health and Wellness, Prudential
  • Dr. Brigid McCaw, Medical Director, KP NCal Family Violence Prevention Program, Kaiser Permanente


Registration for this webinar closed on September 21, 2011.  A recording of the webinar will be available in the days following the event. 

To access the recorded webinar and webinar materials, visit http://www.caepv.org/about/program_detail.php?refID=71

The CAEPV HopeLine® from Verizon Webinar Series is made possible by a grant from HopeLine® from Verizon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are You Safe At Home?

“Are you safe at home? “

The nurse asked me this question recently on my very first visit to the emergency room in my life. I won’t get into the reasons for the visit, but while I was unhappy to be in the ER, I was really happy to be asked that question.

“Yes,” I said “I am safe at home. And thank you so much for asking.”

The nurse and I discussed this screening tool and the importance of asking. She told me how sometimes people seem surprised when she asks…and sometimes they wait until they are in another room getting an x-ray or another test to break down and talk about how perhaps they are not so safe at home.

Then she says there are people like me who are so happy to be asked.

We talked about whether or not it is hard to ask. She said it wasn’t hard for her, because she asks everyone. She just explains to anyone who questions it that it is a screening question that everyone gets.

She said “You know, you can’t just tell by looking at someone if that person is being abused. So you have to ask.”

I love that nurse.

I love her attitude. And I love that she did not hesitate to ask me – even though she knew what I do for a job (and didn’t decide I “couldn’t’” be a victim) and didn’t hesitate because my husband works for her healthcare system (and he “wouldn’t” do a thing like that).

She asked. She asks everyone.

The Department of Health and Human Services has recently released new guidelines developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as domestic violence screening without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible. You can read more here: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/08/20110801b.html

I hope everyone who starts to screen under the new guidelines does the same great job that my nurse did.

Because there is no screening tool that can replace understanding that domestic violence can – and does – happen to people just like you and me.

I don’t want to return to the emergency room anytime soon, but if I do, I’ll be thrilled to be screened for domestic violence again. No matter what I do for a living or who I am married to.

Because it could happen to me, too.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Make Domestic Violence "Your Business"

Do you wonder how domestic violence comes into the workplace?  It can come into the workplace in a lot of ways...through an employee coming in worried about abuse at home, or being absent, or ill, or physically injured,or less productive, or in the case of an abuser, using work time to threaten or harass a partner.

Or...it can come in like this:  http://www.pjstar.com/news/x386669662/Two-women-stabbed-at-TitleMax-on-University-Street-on-Friday.

This is an incredibly sad and violent example. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and their co-workers. (UPDATE: The co-worker of Traci Allen -- Mary Sue Roberts, 27 -- passed away on August 20, 2011. We are so sorry to have to note this.)

When I read this story I thought about all the things that could perhaps have been done to keep this employee and this workplace safe. 

There are no guarantees, of course, but the kinds of things we work with CAEPV members to build into their workplace practices are designed to help prevent these kinds of heartbreaking events.

Things like creating plans for abuser showing up at the workplace. Or the workplace on the order of protection, working with local law enforcement, moving the employee in danger to another workplace location, changing work hours, getting the abused employee to resources to assist her/him....the list goes on and on.

It is timely that open registration begins August 24 for our September 23 webinar "Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Three Case Studies in Practice."

That means any employer can register for our free webinar as of August 24 - courtesy of a grant from HopeLine from Verizon. If you are an employer who is interested, please send an email to caepv@caepv.org.

We hope employers will take advantage.  So that perhaps there will be fewer and fewer incidents like what happened at the Title Max on Friday in Peoria, Illinois.

We want a day when all employers have the tools to make domestic violence "their business." 

Please join us.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why Won't My Employee ......Press Charges?

"Why won't my employee...just leave?"

"Why won't my employee...press charges?"

These are a couple questions I hear sometimes when I talk to employers about domestic violence and its impact on the workplace. 

And while I cannot answer those questions for a person who is in the middle of domestic violence (because I am not that person) - I do try to help employers understand that when it comes to leaving, it can be dangerous, because that is when most homicides related to domestic violence occur - when a person is in the midst of leaving or has left the relationship. 

That is why at CAEPV and with our member companies, we focus on SAFETY of the employee who is a victim of domestic violence and SAFETY of the workplace and other employees. 

And what about pressing charges?  While I cannot speak for any particular individual, I think some new research from the Ohio State University might provide some interesting insight. 

“The existing belief is that victims recant because the perpetrator threatens her with more violence. But our results suggest something very different,” said Amy Bonomi, lead author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.

“Perpetrators are not threatening the victim, but are using more sophisticated emotional appeals designed to minimize their actions and gain the sympathy of the victim. That should change how we work with victims.”

The study appears online in the journal Social Science & Medicine and will appear in a future print edition. To read more about the study, click here.

What do you think of this study?  Are you surprised about the tactics used? 

It is my hope that perhaps for many who've asked the question "Why doesn't that person press charges?" they have a better understanding of why.  And for those of us trying to help, we better understand how we best can.

For information for addressing domestic violence and its impact on the workplace, please visit our website at www.caepv.org.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Liz Claiborne Releases "Love Is Not Abuse" App for iPhone

CAEPV Member Liz Claiborne’s Love is Not Abuse program has come out with a new “Love Is Not Abuse” iPhone application.  It allows parents to experience firsthand digitally abusive behaviors in teen relationships. 

The new iPhone app is designed to teach parents - in a very real way - about the dangers of teen dating abuse and provides a dramatic demonstration of how technology can be used to commit abuse. Over the course of the experience, text messages, emails and phone calls are received real-time, mimicking the controlling, abusive behaviors teens might face in their relationships.

The impact is immediate and important: empowering parents to talk to their kids.

The app also includes valuable information for parents: facts on dating abuse, warning signs, tips on how to talk to teens, and immediate, concrete steps to take if they suspect their child is involved in an abusive relationship.

It also includes a PSA from Tim Gunn and Judge Jeanine Pirro.

You can view the “Love Is Not Abuse” iPhone App trailer at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-MueVK0L8k.

Download the app -- free of charge -- at the iTunes App Store (search word “LINA”).

(We checked it out here at CAEPV and it is very powerful. The simulator is a very realistic representation of digital abuse behavior.)