Tag Archives: domestic violence

Help a Woman Break the Chains of Domestic Violence – #12DaysOfGiving

20 Dec

The Holidays are about giving, sharing, and spreading joy, which is why I’m honored to be part of the “12 Days of Giving!”

Sometimes things aren’t all smiles and happiness, though. As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I’ve had a few rough holidays in the past. So have many others. In fact, according to the CDC, 1 of every 4 women and 1 in 9 men in the United States are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

Luckily, there’s a way to make it easier for a woman (or man) to take the first step to shattering the chains of abuse, by talking with someone about the situation… someone with the knowledge and ability to help.

That’s why I choose the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services.

Who are Domestic Violence victims?

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Here are four helpful resources to learn more, help yourself, or help a loved one or friend. And please give if you can.


What is Domestic Violence?

How can I help a friend?

Am I being abused?

What is a safety plan?

If you are a victim/survivor of domestic violence, the important thing to remember is this: It’s not your fault. The abuser very intentionally, methodically, and usually gradually, grinds down your self-worth, isolates you from friends, family, and favorite activities, and increasingly adds verbal abuse, threats and escalating physical violence. Their favorite weapons are secrecy and control. It makes it very tough to have enough courage to break free.

The first step to breaking the chains is telling someone.

The good news is, as in my case, sometimes talking to someone at a hotline like National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), where they know much more about the process abusers use – the secrecy, control, manipulation, threats, isolation, and violence – makes it much easier. You recognize that you are not at fault. You realize this is actually, sadly, very common – and you aren’t alone. You realize people will understand. You see that it will only get worse if nothing is done. You get help with the process of safely leaving, taking legal action like getting a restraining order, and other things that are not knowledge anyone has until they need it.

74% of Americans know someone affected by domestic violence. And since you just read this article, now you definitely do too. I was able to come out of the dark and break the chains with help. Can you please help another hurting person do the same? Thank you.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or NDVH.org.

Learn more by following @12DaysGiving and the hashtag #12DaysOfGiving on Twitter.

And I’d love to connect with you on Twitter @CharityIdeas!

A Path from Pain to Positivity by @CharityIdeas – Huffington Post

13 Sep

This post originally appears in the Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-neumann/a-path-from-pain-to-posit_b_958558.html

Amy Neumann

Writer, speaker and social media consultant for nonprofits and businesses

A Path from Pain to Positivity

Posted: 9/12/11 07:48 PM ET

Sometimes a path forms where you tread most without you even realizing it. Sometimes a new path is simply presented to you. And sometimes, you are thrust onto a path by unanticipated events that in retrospect are a blessing. The last scenario happened to me.

Several years ago, I survived a brutal period of domestic violence with increasing levels of mental and physical abuse, including almost dying in one incident where choking and a knife were involved. The incomprehensible, surreal effect that this has on anyone, especially on anyone who has no prior knowledge of the cycle of domestic violence (as is common), is hard to put into words. The terror, the constant anxiety, the self-doubt and threats from the abuser about telling someone — unless you’ve experienced it, which hopefully you have not and will not, it’s challenging to acutely understand it.

Having felt this first-hand, I decided to try to help a population of hurting people who did acutely know this horrific feeling: moms with kids. Statistics vary, but on average, studies suggest that on the low end, just over a quarter (28 percent) of homeless moms are victims of domestic violence. In Southern California, where I lived, it’s closer to 50 percent. And these are likely underreported figures. At some point, to save your own life and/or your children’s lives, the only choices become: he’s out, or you’re out. And so moms and kids become homeless.

I had already been working with Union Rescue Mission for several years after being stunned upon learning of the number of homeless people in L.A. when I moved there from Ohio. Seeing the women and kids there on Skid Row broke my heart, even though the kids smiled and laughed and played like kids do, and the moms were so appreciative of the safety and shelter and basics of living.

Hoping to help more long-term, I asked to design and teach a series of classes at URM about finding jobs, which went extremely well. One of the women (whom we’ll call Jane) who had been in the classes for a couple months twice a week approached me one day after class. The stories Jane shared then about her history literally brought tears to my eyes.

And then, Jane dramatically altered my life for the better.

“Thank you for showing me last week how to use Word and Excel,” she said. “I just wanted to tell you I got a job in Vegas and am moving there next week.”

Jane was smart and only needed confidence and a little information. But she gave me something monumental. To have contributed even a little to one woman being freed from the situation she was currently in made my heart sing.

From then on, I became increasing passionate about social good in many ways, including donating a car and my diamond wedding rings to Karz 4 Kids and Hope Gardens, respectively. (Hope Gardens is Union Rescue Mission’s transitional housing for moms and kids away from Skid Row, which opened a while after Jane moved away; I was a member of their Capital Campaign for several years and am a big fan.) While donating financially is certainly not the only way to help organizations, it felt extremely cathartic to me personally. Spreading awareness and hope via social media is another way that feels great, and anyone can do it anytime. Twitter has been a huge source of ongoing inspiration for me and millions of others.

This piece of this tale has written a happy ending for itself. What caused immeasurable pain led to equally immeasurable growth, empathy and gratitude for learning and being able to help others.

When life hands you a giant bushel of lemons, it makes plenty of lemonade to share along your path.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or NDVH.org. Not sure? This quiz can help: “Is this abuse?”

Activism , Battered Women , Domestic Abuse , Domestic Abuse Homeless Women , Domestic Abuse Victims , Domestic Violence Homeless Women , Domestic Violence Victims , Homeless Women Domestic Abuse , Homeless Women Domestic Violence , Violence , Impact New

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