VIOLENT, CONTROLLING, NAME CALLING, JEALOUS, DEMEANING....There are lot's of things 'LOVE IS NOT'.
So what is LOVE? LOVE IS RESPECT!!! LOVE IS DIGNITY!!!
These things help make a 'Healthy Relationship'. Unfortunatlely, there are many people in relationships that are far from healthy, and do not have RESPECT. When this happens, abuse emotionally, physically and even sexually tend to pop up in relationships. Without help or place to turn to break the abusive cycle, it will continue until it runs it's course. Many times it ends up tragic. Recently, I dropped by the National Dating Abuse Helpline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline call centers.
The National Dating Abuse Helpline:
Here's the 411 that you should pass around to everyone you know, so they can use, or share it with others who need to talk with someone. They just started texting which has become extremely popular with The Helpline users. They feel it's a great way to get help and have privacy.
It's headquarters in ATX, is a 24 hr 'HELPLINE' for teens and young adults who are dating/in a relationship, and need someone to talk too about their relationship. It can be anything from getting called names, jealousy about spending time with others, and just not respecting them. The Helpline has well trained peer advocates who help those who contact them through the process of understanding what a healthy relationship is, and what resources they can turn too. I had the pleasure of chatting with Brian Pinero, and several 'HELPLINE ADVOCATES' - Catherine, Doan, Amitiss, Meredith.... finding out what made them want to spend time at the call center. Of course, they each had a bit different answer on how they got there, but the end result is the same. They want to help their peers understand what a healthy relationship is, realize they deserve respect, and try to break a cycle that could go down a much darker path towards future abuse.
This video gives you a better idea first hand how The Helpline is run, and what a FANTABULOUS SERVICE they do for the community and Nationwide!! Makes me PROUD I live in ATX!
The Helpline is a great source to access information and support to try to stop abuse at a young age, especially when it's first brewing within an abuser. But unfortunately, there are many relationships, that go way beyond that, and people find themselves in a situation and environment that is EXTREMELY UNSAFE for them. They feel stuck , trapped and in what they feel is a 'HOPELESS SITUATION' they can't seem to get out of. But they can get to safety and get the help and resources they need with...
The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Here's the 411 for The Hotline. Share it with everyone you know, and the sharing cycle can keep going, so those who may need it, have it! It's a number that SAVES LIVES!!
It's right here in ATX and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here's the short version from their website of the services they supply. The 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.
The Hotline advocates are adults who go through a mass amount of training to be prepared to provide the help and services The Hotline requires. President Katie Ray-Jones is such an incredible leader. She truly cares about the help The Hotline provides, and getting to as many calls as they can to help victims and SAVE LIVES. But what I found amazing, that same care goes for the advocates. The Hotline's policy is to make sure their wellness is being taken care of too! It's been named one of the 'Best Places to Work in ATX', and I saw first hand why that is.
I had the honor of sitting in on a call that a Hotline advocate Rose Mary took. She started on the The Helpline and as she got older went to train for The Hotline. She has been with The Hotline for 5 years. I can't say much about the call, because it's confidential. But I can say that Rose Mary handled the situation, where an abuser was coming back home to the one that was being abused, with great care, compassion, attention to detail and respect. The information they needed to try to find a safe way out, they weren't finding from their state's resources. Rose Mary at The Hotline was able to get this person to the right contact in their state, so they could be safe. My eyes were tearing up throughout the entire call. It made me realize that things I think make a bad day for me, are nothing close to what many others go through during a day. I couldn't imagine being in a situation where you are afraid for your life each and everyday by someone who is suppose to LOVE YOU, which isn't Love at all.
Check out this video that will give you a better understanding of the AMAZING SERVICE Katie and THE HOTLINE crew do each day.
Check out this photo:
A few of the numbers breakdown:
#517- The total number of calls 'The Hotline' had gotten that day so far.
#35 the total calls for The Helpline . The Helpline had a big amount of texts that day, which don't show on this board.
#72 is the number of calls with The Hotline that hung up because there wasn't an advocate available at the time to get to the call!
The Helpline's #15 were that many calls they weren't able to get too. Again, The Helpline does most of their communication through online chats and texts! Those numbers are not on this board. President Katie said these 2 numbers need to be '0', but that can only happen when both The Hotline and The Helpline have more funding to be able to bring in more people to help others.
All donations are greatly appreciated and will help SAVE LIVES!! Another thing I discovered when I was taking the tour, the building The Hotline and The Helpline are renting has a lot of structural issues. They are also outgrowing the space for the amount of people they have, and need in the future, to help so many others who are unfortunately in abusive situations. Your donations will be put to BIG TIME use!!
I want to thank Susan, Katie, Brian and the Helpline and The Hotline crews for welcoming me with open arms and giving me an eye opening tour of what happens on a daily basis. I have had the pleasure the past 3 years to be a part of 'A Day To Shine' to help raise money and awareness for the 'National Dating Abuse Helpline', which I am honored. But I truly know the need for funds and volunteers for both seeing the action first hand! No words can express the THANKS and GRATITUDE I have for both of these services. THEY ROCK! Austin, if you can do anything to help... PLEASE DO! YOU WILL BE SAVING LIVES!!