Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Domestic Violence and the Holidays…What Do You Say?

The holidays are upon us and we will be around family and friends that we may not usually see. And what if you see something that you are concerned about? What if you think someone you care about may not be in a safe relationship?

Here is the big difficult question: "What do you say to someone if you are concerned that they may be in an abusive relationship?"

Here is one pretty good way that I've found to talk with someone -- granted this is my style and everyone has a different style, but it goes something like this:

"You know I really care a lot about you. I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately, and that (and you would fill in here the other things you've noticed -- for example, the person seems afraid of their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, has unexplained injuries, seems isolated, etc.). I would rather be wrong or have you mad at me for asking than ever have anything bad happen to you so I just have to check in with you and ask -- are you safe in your relationship?"

Because really, if you think about it, that is the point, isn't it? You WOULD rather be embarrassed or feel uncomfortable asking, or be wrong rather than have something bad happen to a friend of yours and not say something.

And -- so what if your friend tells you that he or she is fine?

Then say: "Hey that’s great. But if you ever decide you aren't ok, I want you to know my door is always open." And you may also want to add, "And if you were ever concerned that I was not safe, I would hope you would ask me the same question, right?"

Because the point is, if we really have one another's backs, we should be able to ask each other these questions. And then if you can, you may want to check in again with your family member or friend again in a few weeks just to see how things are going.

People don't always tell you right away when they are in a relationship that is not safe or good for them. It takes time and it is not easy.

For help or assistance anytime (or just to check things out), call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or check out http://www.thehotline.org.

Or – for those in dating relationships, check out the National Dating Abuse Helpline -- on the web at http://www.loveisrespect.org or at 1-866-331-9474.

It never hurts to ask -- and it may help change or save the life of someone you care about.

(And survivors....any comments or additional suggestions you have are most welcome! You know best what is helpful!)


Friday, October 19, 2012

“YOUR VOICE COUNTS” – Speak Up Against Domestic Violence

In connection with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Verizon Foundation has launched a new “Your Voice Counts” campaign in recognition that all Americans can play a role in ending domestic violence by promoting healthy relationships and changing attitudes that perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

The campaign is being launched in partnership with A CALL TO MEN, the Joyful Heart Foundation, and NOMORE – and it contains valuable information on how men can make a difference in their communities and speak out against domestic violence.  “Your Voice Counts” aims to mobilize men and women together in a way that has never been done before.

The campaign targets men of all ages and provides them with new tools and resources to empower them to speak out against this issue and set the example for others.  To kick off the campaign, the Verizon Foundation teamed up with well-known NFL sportscaster, James Brown, to create a powerful PSA that captures compelling stories of men and women whose lives have been deeply affected by domestic violence. 


They worked with the experts at A CALL TO MEN and the Joyful Heart Foundation to create an Action Guide that outlines five simple ways we can all get involved - including suggestions for confronting abusive language, tips on talking to young people and directions for what to do if domestic violence is suspected.

I hope you will help us spread the word about “Your Voice Counts” by:

·         Viewing the PSA and Action Guide at: www.verizonfoundation.org/yourvoicecounts

·         Sharing Your Voice Counts with others by adding this info. to your e-mail signature: Your Voice Counts.  Speak up against Domestic Violence.  www.verizonfoundation.org/yourvoicecounts

·         Using some of the sample tweets and Facebook updates developed for the campaign (below)

Facebook: Your Voice Counts. And when it comes to domestic violence - it could save a life. Watch and share this new video from @The Verizon Foundation. NFL Sportscaster James Brown speaks with survivors and encourages us all, especially men, to speak up and speak to someone about domestic violence. http://vz.to/OgVvyw

Twitter: #YourVoiceCounts & it could save a life http://vz.to/OgVvyw @VerizonGiving #ACALLTOMEN @TheJHF @JBSportscaster @NOMOREorg


Together, we can end the cycle of violence and abuse in our communities.


Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Time to Talk: See Something - Say Something - Get Involved

Have you ever watched John Quinones and ABC’s What Would You Do? 

If you haven’t,  it is a show where people are put in situations they think are real (but they are staged) and the show is watching to see “what they would do” when they think they see a child being abused, a bike being stolen, and pregnant woman drinking alcohol, etc.  You often see the very best in people when they step forward and “say something” and get involved in situations involving complete strangers because they believe it is not right to “just stand by.”
On October 2, Central Illinois will "take a moment to talk" about domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse. The community will talk together about the fact that "trauma lasts a lifetime" and that there are impacts of trauma across the lifespan – including witnessing abuse as a child.
The community will emphasize the importance of bystander involvement and highlight the effects of trauma over a lifetime –including the impacts mentally, physically, socially of unaddressed trauma and the costs to community. The community will also include outreach to those who have not addressed trauma in the past to reach out for help.

We believe the community can make a difference.

We were thinking about John Quinones and “What Would You Do” and those involved came up with the idea:

 It’s Time to Talk: See Something – Say Something – Get Involved”

 By the way, we tweeted our idea to Mr. Quinones and he gave us a “thumbs up” :-)

Events during the day include a conference on Trauma- informed care.  Trauma does not always evidence itself as we might imagine.  This conference will examine the unique needs of trauma survivors with a focus on education and training for professionals who provide care to this special population.  Conference participants will gain a greater understanding of the many facets of trauma through:

  • a greater awareness of the causes of trauma
  • recognizing the impact on the brain
  • examining the physical, emotional and psychological impact
  • exploration of the role of trauma in addiction

 (If you live in the Central Illinois area, and are interested, conference information is available at http://traumainformed-eorg.eventbrite.com. )

We’ll also be wearing purple as part of an initiative through a local community (the Town of Normal) and its police department. 

 We’ll have a lunch event for downtown business people/parents sponsored by our local Soroptimists:

We’ll even have “Care Crows” being decorated at a local pumpkin farm so families and children can learn about healthy relationships.
We also have resolutions from our local units of government and universities proclaiming October 2 as “It’s Time to Talk Day” and October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Here’s an example:



It is never easy to open doors to talk about these issues – but we think that the idea of “What Would You Do?” is a pretty good place to start. 

We hope wherever you are on October 2, you will join us in taking a moment to talk – and getting involved. 

Monday, August 06, 2012

HopeLine® from Verizon Introduces Mobile App for Android™ Smartphones and Tablets

HopeLine® from Verizon recently launched a new mobile tool, the HopeLine app, to further aid in its ongoing mission to support victims of domestic violence. Through this new app, individuals suffering from domestic violence will have quick access to resources and assistance in a time of need. Users can connect directly to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) for crisis intervention, information or referrals using #HOPE.

In addition, the HopeLine app will serve as an online community for those looking to share their inspirational stories of survival and volunteers looking to discuss their own outreach efforts. Photos and videos can be directly shared through the app, giving users the ability to engage with others who are involved in domestic violence awareness.

For users who want to offer their support, the HopeLine app makes it easy for wireless users to donate no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories to HopeLine, Verizon Wireless' national cell phone recycling program. Using location-based technology, the app guides users to the nearest Verizon Wireless Communications Store, where they can easily drop off devices and accessories for donation. Cash donations to the cause are also possible through the text-to-donate option; customers can now make a donation of $10 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) directly from their mobile devices.

"With the HopeLine app, we are giving necessary resources to victims seeking help, as well as individuals looking to get involved," said Elva Lima, executive director of community relations and multicultural communications at Verizon Wireless. "Wireless phones and technology can serve as a vital lifeline for those who need support, and we are putting the power of our network and devices in the hands of those who need it."

For more than a decade, HopeLine from Verizon has raised awareness of domestic violence, providing hope to victims and survivors who have experienced its detrimental effects and has engaged the public in a nationwide conversation on the issue. HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories and puts them to work in communities by helping victims and survivors of domestic violence. Donated devices and accessories are turned into support to help victims of domestic violence through the use of cash grants and refurbished phones.

 Since 2001, HopeLine has donated nearly 123,000 phones to domestic violence organizations across the country. No-longer-used phones collected through HopeLine have also been recycled to fund more than $14.2 million in cash grants for organizations working to end domestic violence.

The HopeLine app can be downloaded on a wide range of Android smartphones and tablets from Verizon Apps, from the Verizon Wireless online Media Store and Google Play.
There is no charge to download the app, but a Verizon Wireless data plan is required and usage may count toward a customer's data allowance.

For more information about HopeLine from Verizon, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

One IS Too Many

Today, Vice President Biden, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal hosted an event to launch a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) about dating violence as part of the Vice President’s 1 is 2 Many campaign

Due to the fact that young women today ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of violence at the hands of someone they know, the PSA’s target audience is men of this same age group. The PSA, which was produced by the White House, features professional athletes and other male role models who deliver the message that dating violence is unacceptable. 

Joining the President and Vice President in the PSA, which will air this summer on the ESPN Networks, the Fox Sports Networks, MLB Network, and NFL Network, are Joe Torre, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations, and Manager of four World Series championship teams, David Beckham of the LA Galaxy, Eli Manning of the New York Giants, Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies, and ESPN correspondent Andy Katz.

 Joining the Vice President and other Senior Administration officials today for the rollout of the PSA were Jimmy Rollins, David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, who was there on behalf of his teammate Evan Longoria, and Andy Katz.

 Click here to read the latest blog post on the 1 is 2 Many website about the PSA.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Safer on the Streets than at Home"

Recently, a popular local newspaper columnist was noting the “rules” of living in our community.  The tone of the column was humor, and among his bullet points of the “rules” for living here was this:

“If you study the crime rates, you realize walking the streets at night in B-N is actually safer than staying home. Domestic issues at home far outnumber street crime here.” (You can read the full piece here.)

While the writer was trying to point out that the streets of the community are safe…I saw something different.  I saw this:

“Domestic issues at home far outnumber street crime here.”

This means that domestic violence is the crime our community should be discussing…should be talking about…should be concerned about, doesn’t it?

I’m not sure we should be saying “whew – aren’t we lucky we are safer on our streets than we are at home.”

I know that is not what the writer intended…but that is what I think many people don’t consider…we need to talk about, think about, and address domestic violence as a safety and community issue if we want our community to be safe. 

After all, everyone has the right to be safe and secure at home with the people who say they love them.

Just as much as they have the right to be safe walking the streets.

(To find out more about saying NO MORE, visit www.caepv.org and www.nomore.org.)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

New NIOSH Study Examines the Role of Intimate Partner Violence in Workplace Homicides among Women

New research reveals that intimate partner violence resulted in 142 homicides among women at work in the U.S. from 2003 to 2008, a figure which represents 22 percent of the 648 workplace homicides among women during the period.

Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University (WVU-ICRC) have found that intimate partner violence resulted in 142 homicides among women at work in the U.S. from 2003 to 2008, a figure which represents 22 percent of the 648 workplace homicides among women during the period.

The paper, "Workplace homicides among U.S. women: the role of intimate partner violence," published in the April 2012 issue of Annals of Epidemiology, reports that the leading cause of homicides among women was criminal intent, such as those resulting from robberies of retail stores (39 percent), followed closely by homicides carried out by personal relations (33 percent). Nearly 80 percent of these personal relations were intimate partners.

Risk factors associated with workplace-related intimate partner homicides include occupation, time of day, and location. Women in protective service occupations had the highest overall homicide rate; however, women in health care, production, and office/administration had the highest proportion of homicides related to intimate partner violence. More than half of the homicides committed by intimate partners occurred in parking lots and public buildings.

"Workplace violence is an issue that affects the entire community," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "Understanding the extent of the risk and the precipitators for these events, especially for women, of becoming victims of workplace violence is a key step in preventing these tragedies."

In addition to its focus upon the role of intimate partner violence in workplace homicides among women, the study reports that workplace homicide remains a leading cause of occupational injury death in U.S. women. In fact, in 2010, homicides against women at work increased by 13 percent despite continuous declines in overall workplace homicides in recent years.

Other study findings include:

·         More U.S. women died on the job as the result of domestic violence than at the hands of a client—such as a student, patient, or prisoner—or of a current or former co-worker.

·         Workplace homicide rates among women were significantly higher in private workplaces than in federal, state, or local workplaces.

·         Firearms, knives, and other sharp objects were the top items used in workplace homicides against women.

·         The most common locations where workplace homicides among women occurred were retail businesses such as restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and hotel and motels, followed by commercial stores, public buildings, and parking lots.

The conclusion?  Since a large percentage of homicides occurring to women at work are perpetrated by intimate partners, workplace violence prevention programs should incorporate strategies to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence.
We’re here to help with that – please check our website for resources at www.caepv.org or contact us a caepv@caepv.org for information.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nation’s Largest Employer Leads By Example In Making Domestic Violence “Everybody’s Business”

On April 18, President Obama signed a memorandum that will require federal agencies to develop policies to address the effects of domestic violence and provide assistance to employees who are experiencing domestic violence.

“We know that domestic violence doesn’t just stay in the home.  It can extend into the workplace, with devastating effects on its victims and costs that ripple across the economy.  Federal employees aren’t immune.  The President’s Memorandum sends a message about what the federal government—and all employers—can do to end this abuse.  President Obama directed the federal government to become a model for all employers in providing a safe workplace and support for any employees who suffer from domestic violence.  For the first time, all federal agencies are required to establish policies to respond to the legitimate needs of employees who are being abused and who might need help,” said Vice President Biden.

Domestic violence affects both the safety of the workplace and the productivity of employees.  Victims report being harassed at work or distracted from their jobs because of abuse. (For information on the costs and impacts of domestic violence on the workplace, visit our Facts and Stats section of the CAEPV website.)

The memorandum directs the Director of Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other interested heads of agencies, to issue guidance to agencies addressing the effects of domestic violence on the federal workforce. 

The guidance will include steps agencies can take to intervene in and prevent domestic violence against or by employees; guidelines for assisting employee victims; leave policies relating to domestic violence situations; general guidelines on when it may be appropriate to take disciplinary action against employees who commit or threaten acts of domestic violence; steps agencies can take to improve workplace safety related to domestic violence; and  resources for identifying relevant best practices related to domestic violence. 

But you don’t have to be the nation’s largest employer to address domestic violence at the workplace. Any employer can – and should. 

For assistance and resources, please visit our Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) website at www.caepv.org

Friday, April 13, 2012

When Will You Say "NO MORE"?

When are you ready to say NO MORE?

Maybe it is when you read this: http://www.examiner.com/domestic-crimes-in-national/domestic-violence-shooting-at-cracker-barrel-results-3-dead-1-injured

People should not die at the hands of those they love.  You should be safe and secure with those who love you. I think we can all agree on that.

This is not an anomaly.

If you do my job...you know that the most dangerous time for a person involved in an abusive relationship is when that person is leaving...or has left.  When someone says "If you leave me, I will kill you..." they mean it.

Please join us in saying NO MORE. Please visit www.nomore.org.  Upload your picture to the gallery, sign the pledge, get a t-shirt, educate yourself...tell someone self.

Let's all say NO MORE.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unlock A Hidden Level in “Angry Birds Space” – Help Stop Cyberbullying

Do you LOVE Angry Birds?

Would you like to unlock a hidden level in Angry Birds Space and do your part to help stop cyberbullying at the same time?

If so, you'll be pleased to learn that MTV's A Thin Line campaign against cyberbullying, sexting, and all kinds of digital abuse is teaming up with Angry Birds Space to reward everyone who takes action against digital drama.

To get things started you'll need to head over to MTV's interactive Draw Your Line map that tracks actions taken across the country. There you'll be able to post any action that you've taken to stop digital drama and you'll be rewarded with instructions on how to unlock a secret Golden Egg level for the newly released Angry Birds Space.

Want to help out even more? There are plenty of things you can do to help end cyberbullying including things as simple as changing your Facebook and Twitter passwords or even just starting a conversation with your friends. Get the word out and head over to Draw Your Line for more ways to take action.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are You Ready to Say NO MORE With Us?

I am so excited about NO MORE (www.nomore.org).

I know some of you who read this blog or hang out with me on twitter (@kimkwells) attended the web conferences announcing this new project and now things are really moving forward.

For those of you who don’t know, you may wonder – what is NO MORE?

NO MORE is a movement centered on a powerful new symbol that brings together all people who want to end domestic violence and sexual assault.  The symbol is above in this blogpost as a reminder.

Like the peace sign, the yellow “support our troops” ribbon, the red AIDS ribbon or the pink breast cancer ribbon, the goal of the NO MORE symbol is to help spark a national dialogue and move the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault higher on the public’s agenda.

I encourage you to check out the NO MORE Project at http://www.nomore.org and also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NOMORE.org) and Twitter (@NOMOREorg).

Join the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence along with individuals and organizations across the country as we stand together in saying NO MORE – and stay tuned for more.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BULLY. "Everything Starts With One And Builds Up..."

“Bully,” the documentary, follows three victims of bullying, and two families of children (Tyler Long, 17, and Ty Smalley, 11) who committed suicide after abuse at the hands of their peers.

Note:  the bullying it documents (and its aftermath) is hard to watch, even in the trailer, and the frustration of everyone involved (except the bullying children) is palpable.

“Bully,” won’t be in theaters until March 30. And it currently has an "R" rating.

But you can watch “Speak Up” with your children on Sunday night March 18 (commercial-free) at 5:30 p.m. on the Cartoon Network, and online. President Obama will deliver an opening message, and CAEPV National Advisory Board Member Rosalind Wiseman, a bullying prevention expert and author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” will be available online before, during and after the showing to answer questions. Its proactive stance, delivered by a television network that many children know and love, is a great place to start or continue a conversation about bullying. And while it may be optimistic, “Speak Up” doesn’t shy away from the complexity of bullying.

To quote the film BULLY - 'Everything starts with one (speaking up) and builds up."  I hope you will join me in being part of the conversation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is There A “Bubble” Where You Live?

I saw something interesting this morning in response to the heartbreaking high school shooting at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio.  One of my friends said “This is heartbreaking and scary! I am very thankful for my (name of town) bubble.”

And I while I certainly appreciate that she feels safe where she lives…I think that is a scary sentiment. 

As long as we think “It can’t happen here” we won’t talk to our kids about bullying or school violence or safety…or dating violence.

As long as we think “It can’t happen here” we won’t make plans for our schools to be safe.

As long as we think “It can’t happen here” we won’t prepare our workplaces to keep them safe – and we won’t look out for the potential signs that employees are in distress.

I am often asked what I think the most dangerous position is for an employer with respect to workplace violence.

I think the most dangerous position for an employer to be in it is the idea that “It can’t happen here.”  Because as long as anyone thinks that (parent, school, employer, community) we will do nothing.

Is there a “bubble” where you live?  I pray so.  But if not, take a moment to consider that it CAN – and does – happen in quiet, small places like Chardon, Ohio.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

February Is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness And Prevention Month

Teen Dating Violence (DV) Prevention and Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships – and to promote programs that prevent it during the month of February.

The repercussions of teen dating violence are impossible to ignore – they hurt not just the young people victimized but also their families, friends, schools and communities. Throughout February, organizations and individuals nationwide are coming together to highlight the need to educate young people about relationships, teach healthy relationship skills and prevent the devastating cycle of abuse.

For years, young people across the nation have organized to put a stop to dating abuse. With their adult allies, they achieved a major victory in 2005 when the importance of addressing teen dating abuse was highlighted in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The following year, Congress followed the lead of dozens of national, state and local organizations in sounding the call to end dating abuse. Both Chambers declared the first full week in February "National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Week." Then in 2010, Congress began dedicating the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.

Now in its third year, Teen DV Month is celebrated by leaders in government, student bodies, schools, youth service providers, community-based organizations, parents and more.

It is a wonderful opportunity to share information with your employees about how this issue impacts their families – and those they care about. And clearly no one in your workforce is immune from dating abuse at any age….so it is a great way to open the door. We’ve got information and resources below from our CAEPV Members at Break the Cycle.

To get great information, resources, and ideas for activities, visit the Teen DV Month website from our CAEPV Member Break the Cycle.

To read the Presidential Proclamation of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, click here.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Love Is Not Abuse & Seventeen Magazine: Twitter Chat #WhatLoveMeans

You may not know that nearly 1 in 3 teens this year will be a victim of an abusive relationship. Often, the warning signs – like constantly checking in, name calling or keeping a girlfriend or boyfriend from spending time with family and friends – are so gradual that teens don’t recognize that what they think is “real love” is actually a toxic, controlling and dangerous relationship.

In this month’s issue of Seventeen Magazine, teens are speaking up about the unhealthy relationships they’ve experienced and encouraging their peers to understand what a true relationship should feel like.

Now, our friends at Love Is Not Abuse are taking the conversation to Twitter, and hope you can join them as Love Is Not Abuse and Seventeen Magazine host a series of live Twitter Chats on #Whatlovemeans on Mondays from January 16 through February 6 from 4 – 5 p.m. ET.

These Twitter chats will give teens a chance to get their relationship questions answered by experts and share their thoughts on dating, relationships and what behaviors should (and should never) be accepted from a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The first #Whatlovemeans Twitter chat kicks off Monday, January 16th at 4 p.m. ET and we hope that you and your community can join us and help spread the word!

To join, sign in to your account at www.twitter.com. Search for the hashtag #Whatlovemeans to follow the conversation and add the hashtag to your own tweets to join in.

For more information, check out the announcement on loveisnotabuse.com,  here ,  or pick up this month’s issue of Seventeen Magazine.

Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter (@Love_IsNotAbuse and @SeventeenMag) and check out Love Is Not Abuse on Facebook (www.facebook.com/loveisnotabuse) for more updates.