Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I Pledge To Tell A Gal Pal About Domestic Violence! How About YOU?
Tell a Gal Pal® about Domestic Violence. Let’s face it together.
Domestic violence isn’t just a women’s issue. It impacts everyone--men, women, children, families and whole communities each year.
The Allstate Foundation’s Tell a Gal Pal movement encourages everyone to talk openly about domestic violence with their gal pals – whether it’s your best friend, sister, mother, daughter, niece, cousin or neighbor – and support those in need.
Domestic Violence: The Facts
Each day in the U.S., three women die as result of domestic violence.1
More than one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.2
More than three out of four Americans know some who is or has been a victim of domestic violence...
...but only 54 percent of Americans have talked to a friend about domestic violence.3
It’s time we talk openly and face domestic violence together.
Let's Face Domestic Violence Together!
Tell A Gal Pal To:
Talk openly about domestic violence. Tell your Gal Pals – whether it’s your best friend, sister, mother, daughter, niece, cousin or neighbor – to face domestic violence, share their opinions and experiences and show support for survivors.
Speak out against domestic violence when you see it. Call the police or National Domestic Violence Hotline , (1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY) Anonymous & Confidential Help 24/7) to report domestic violence in your community – you could help save a life.
Visit ClickToEmpower.org for easy ways start the conversation, check out resources for survivors or read inspirational survivor stories.
You can also show your support for domestic violence survivors by volunteering at or donating items to your local domestic violence shelter. Contact your state domestic violence coalition for more information. Click here for a complete list of state coalitions.
Pledge to Tell a Gal Pal and Help Raise Money to Support Domestic Violence Survivors
Get involved by joining the Tell a Gal Pal movement on Facebook to help raise money to support domestic violence survivors. Tell a Gal Pal and share this information with your friends and neighbors!
For each person who “likes” the Click To Empower! Facebook page, The Allstate Foundation will donate $1 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (up to $20,000). Click here to go to the Facebook page.
The Allstate Foundation will donate another $1 if you take the pledge to Tell a Gal Pal about domestic violence. As part of the pledge, your photo will be added to the “Faces of Support” gallery to show survivors that they aren’t facing domestic violence alone.
Help us reach our goal of raising $20,000. Tell a Gal Pal to join the movement on Facebook.
What to Say When You Think Someone Is Being Abused
If you suspect a friend or family member is in an abusive relationship, talking with them about it can be hard. The most important thing you can do is to let them know that they have support and options to leave the relationship.
It’s important to remember that you can’t “rescue” your friend from an abusive relationship. Although it is hard to see someone you care about get hurt, ultimately the person being hurt needs to be the one who decides to do something about it. It’s important to support and help her find a way to safety.
Here are some easy ways to help start the conversation:
Offer support without judgment or criticism.
There are many reasons why a victim may stay in abusive relationships. And, many reasons why she* may leave and return to the relationship many times. Let her know it’s not her fault and that she’s not alone. Respect her decisions, even when you don’t agree. Do not criticize or guilt her—she needs you to be helpful, not hurtful.
■“It’s not your fault he treats you that way.”
■“I know this is difficult to discuss, but please know you can talk to me about anything.”
■“You are not alone. I care about you and am here for you, no matter what.”
■“You are not responsible for his behavior.”
■“No matter what you did, you do not deserve this.”
Don’t be afraid to tell her that you’re concerned for her safety.
Help your friend or family member recognize the abuse while acknowledging that she is in a very difficult and dangerous situation.
■“I see what is going on with you and _______ and I want to help.”
■“You don’t deserve to be treated that way. Good husbands and partners don’t say or do those kinds of things.”
■“The way he treats you is wrong. Men should never hit or threaten the women they love.”
■“I’m worried about your safety and am afraid he’ll really hurt you next time.”
■“Promise me that if you need to talk, you’ll come to me.”
There are many reasons why individuals experiencing abuse don’t reach out to family and friends. It’s important to recognize if she is ready to talk about her experiences while offering support.
■“I’m here to help and am always available, even if you don’t want to talk about it.”
■“Remember, you’re not alone – I am here for you when you’re ready to talk about it.”
Ask how you can be helpful.
Don’t try to make any decisions for your friend because it implies that you think she’s incapable of making good choices fro herself and it may deter her from confiding in you in the future. Instead, focus on offering support and encouragement.
■“I want to help. What can I do to support you?”
■“How can I help protect your safety?”
Encourage her to get help.
Suggest ways she can get additional support. Help her look into available resources, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline number (800-799-SAFE) or a local domestic violence agency with specially-trained advocates to help her out of the situation.
■“Here is the number to our local domestic violence agency. They can help provide shelter, counseling or support groups.”
◦If applicable: “They also offer services to help you understand the legal system, access community resources, relocate or get support for your children.”
■“Let’s develop a safety plan.”
■“If you need to go to the police [or court or a lawyer], I can go with you to offer support.”
If you are concerned about the safety of your friend or family member, or to learn about services in your area, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Remember! Domestic Violence Not Only Maims and Kills A Body, Domestic Violence Maims and Kills A Soul!
I wrote this blog post while participating in The Allstate Foundation’s Tell a Gal Pal blogging program with TwitterMoms, making me eligible to get an interview with Cheryl Burke. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”
About The Allstate Foundation’s Domestic Violence Program
The Allstate Foundation’s Domestic Violence Program was created to help domestic violence survivors overcome economic challenges and lead financially independent lives, free from abuse. Through a partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the program provides a network of financial resources, including a comprehensive financial empowerment curriculum; funds direct services, including education and job training assistance; and spreads the word on how to empower those touched by domestic and economic abuse. For more information and to find out how to help, visit http://www.clicktoempower.org/.
About the Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities;” “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity;”and “economic empowerment.” The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America's families achieve their American dream. For additional information, visit http://www.clicktoempower.org/
Click to Empower!