As we begin October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, people have been asking me "What can I do about domestic violence? Is there something I can do to help?" Here is a short list of ideas. Certainly you can add your ideas or additions at the end:
1) Join the Love Is Not Abuse Coalition and get involved in a growing, national grassroots movement of parents, teachers and ANYONE who cares about getting dating abuse education into every middle school and high school in the country. Go to http://loveisnotabuse.com/web/guest/who-we-are to learn more.
2) Find out more about domestic violence. Go to http://www.clicktoempower.org/ and see the stories of survivors and what made the difference for them.
3) Go to http://whatwedid4love.com and support the National Domestic Violence Hotline by purchasing these pieces by Sueanne Shirzay and other artists.
4) Learn about how domestic violence impacts your workplace by visiting http://www.caepv.org/.
5) Remember the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or http://www.thehotline.org/. You can call to help others or yourself.
6) Donate your old cell phone, batteries, or chargers (any brand) at any Verizon Wireless store or use free mailing label http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/Shipping.html. Learn more about the HopeLine from Verizon program at http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html
7) Learn to talk to your kids about healthy relationships by downloading tip booklets from http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/.
8) Try to understand what happens in domestic violence and how it impacts people. Check out http://www.domesticviolenceworkplace.blogspot.com/. And comment!
9) Don't ask "Why would that victim go back?" ask "Why would a person hit or abuse someone they love?"
10) Be safe, healthy and happy in your own relationships. Because you matter. And you deserve it. And you are very, very precious.