Domestic Violence - Out Of The House
AMW correspondent Jon Leiberman and MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak on the red carpet.
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Breaking the devastating cycle of violence is a critical issue many people across the United States face every day. Picture a victim of domestic violence - do you have the image of a middle aged housewife with a black eye in your mind? Well, think again. Men and women of every race, culture, ethnic, educational and ecomomic background can be victims. Most alarming is that many victims of domestic violence are teens who don't even live with their abuser. Now, America's Most Wanted and MTV News are teaming up to bring awareness and empower victims of domestic abuse.
On November 14, 2006, AMW correspondent Jon Leiberman and MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak were on the red carpet at an event to raise money for domestic abuse. Safe Horizon, the nation's leading victim assistance organization, joined producers Barry and Fran Weissler for a gala performance of the musical smash, Chicago, celebrating the musical's record-breaking 10th year on Broadway. The star-studded event helped raise awareness and funds for Safe Horizon, earning more than one million dollars for victims of domestic violence.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior and can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Not Just Physical Abuse
Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. It can include verbal, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse.
Young women aged 16 to 24 are the most at-risk of domestic violence of any age group; they are nearly three times more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than women in other age groups. One in five teenage girls is physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner. One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner.
Both teenage boys and teenage girls report being victims of physical violence in relationships. One recent national survey found that 1 in 11 high-school students said they had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year.
42% of murdered women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends
Recognizing the Signs
Safe Horizon and the producers of Chicago joined together for a star-studded one night performance the smash hit musical.
Many victims don't recognize that they are in an abusive relationship and they don't realize how they've gradually changed because of the abuse. Be on the lookout for signs of domestic abuse and know the early warning signs to possibly avoid a potential violent situation.
Signs of Domestic Violence
Unpredictable mood swings
High levels of anger and anxiety
Isolation from friends and family
Break The Cycle - If You Think You're In An Abusive Relationship
Being a victim of domestic violence is not your fault. Nothing you say or do gives anyone the right to hurt you. No one deserves to be abused or threatened. If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, seek help. Talk to someone you trust, locate a shelter or agency serving victims of domestic abuse in your community or call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 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 140 languages through interpreter services.
We Need Your Help
Education is the first step to ending the cycle of violence. To educate others about domestic violence, counsel peers, staff a hotline, or speak to classes about the signs of an abusive relationship and where to find help. Encourage your church, school or workplace to develop programs to educate others and work to ensure that there are resources for people that are being abused in your community.
If someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, you can help.
Be a good listener
Offer your friendship and support
Ask how you can help
Encourage your friend to seek help
Avoid any confrontations with the abuser
Domestic and dating violence is a very serious issue. You cannot rescue your friend, so contact a local agency and encourage your friend to do the same.
If you have a story of domestic violence, we'd like to hear from you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Stars Were Out
On November 14, 2006, Safe Horizon joined with the producers of Chicago to benefit victims of domestic abuse. The event, "Justice Served, In Our Own Words," raised more than one million dollars for the nation's leading victim assistance organization.
Jon Leiberman and SuChin Pak joked with John O'Hurley.
Lynda Carter talked about what the 'Justice Served, In Our Own Words" means for victims.
Broadway star Paige Davis urged victims of domestic violence to seek help.
Rita Wilson talked about the benefits Safe Horizon provides for victims of abuse.
Melanie Griffith gladly took part in the event to bring awareness to domestic abuse.
Brooke Shields wants victims to know that there are local shelters across the U.S. where victims of domestic abuse can receive help.