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How to Talk About Domestic Violence, by Alicia Harper

Please take a few minutes to read the below story . Yes, I know this is a very uncomfortable subject, but unfortunately until something hits home, it doesn’t become important to us.

Please, please don’t let Domestic Violence hit home before it becomes an important subject to you. Join the fight to “End to Domestic Violence Now” and bring awareness to help others…you never know, you may be helping someone very dear to you who is just too ashamed to talk to you for fear of you too turning your head and leaving them feeling all alone.

We not only need to learn “how to talk about” Domestic Violence, but also “how to talk to others” who have been through it or are in the midst of it right now…

http://livingtoshare.org/2010/the-time-has-come/

Thank you and as always, much love and hugs!

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February 23, 2012

How to Talk About Domestic Violence, by Alicia Harper

One woman reflects on her own experience with domestic violence and why we should use Chris Brown and Rihanna as a teachable moment.

I didn’t watch the Grammy Awards. I didn’t see Chris Brown’s performances and couldn’t tell you if they were good, bad, or mediocre. I don’t know if the rumors that Rihanna and Chris Brown are once again romantically involved true or false, but I did see the tweets during and after the Grammys.

There were tweets from Chris Brown fans that were supportive of him performing at the Grammys. For example, @KaylaMarieWatts stated: “Dude, Chris Brown can punch me in the face as much as wants to, as long as he kisses it [sic].” (This tweet has since been deleted.)

There were tweets from those who were against Chris Brown performing at music’s most celebrated night. Ethan Suplee tweeted, “Why wasn’t Chris Brown fired from ‘music’ (public dancing) when he beat up [Rihanna]? Dear ‘thugs’ and ‘gangstas’ of the hip-hop industry, how is it that none of you ‘handled’ Chris Brown?”

And there were tweets from Chris Brown himself like [sic]: “HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate F*** OFF!” and “IM BACK SO WATCH MY BACK as I walk away from all this negativity #teambreezygrammy.”

Huh? Really? Instead of tweeting about his “haters,” Chris Brown should be telling the young ladies who are “for” him that it’s actually not cool, cute, or funny to proclaim they’d want to be punched in the face by a convicted offender. Even those people who spoke up against his appearance may have missed an opportunity.

Instead of tweeting about how awful Chris Brown is, Ethan Suplee (and all of us) could be using his actions and the incident between Rihanna and him as a teachable moment. Domestic violence is a serious issue, and while I’m glad that people are talking about it, I’m baffled with the way the conversation is going down.

Rihanna and Chris Brown may be dominating the headlines, but 25 percent of American women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime.* That’s one out of four women. Nearly 74 percent of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.* That’s almost three out of four people. These statistics are alarming, to say the least.

If the statistics exist and are so upsetting, then why aren’t we hearing about them and talking about it more? And when we discuss domestic violence, why isn’t the conversation more meaningful? Why is it so hard for people to speak out about (and against) intimate partner violence?

For victims, I can think of one word: SHAME. At least that’s what it was for me. 

Although my ex and I came together to create something so perfectly beautiful and precious (Aiden) for whom I am eternally grateful, we just didn’t quite fit. I’ve written about this before, but what I haven’t spoken about in this space is why I decided to end my relationship with Aiden’s other parent. Sure, I was intimidated by the statistics about children who are raised in a single parent household, and I thought about them when sweet turned sour in my relationship. Frankly, the statistics scared the heck out of me! But then I endured an incident of intimate partner violence so horrific that it scared me even more to stay in the relationship.

At first, I felt so ashamed—and embarrassed—to talk about my experience. I thought that I had to protect my family and portray this image of “perfection,” whatever that means. I felt as though I had to protect Aiden. I felt as though I had to protect my ex. I felt as though I had to protect my choices. This is who I chose to be in a romantic relationship with, I thought. This is who I chose to have a child with. This is who I chose as a partner—and my choice was not the best one. I’d even go as far as saying that my choice was wrong…painfully wrong.

I was ashamed of what others would think of me. I was ashamed of how people would look at me if they knew. I was ashamed to greet the neighbors in the hallway of our apartment building. I was ashamed that people would wonder, “How could she let this happen to her? She’s so smart. She went to a good college. She has a good career.” I could go on and on about what I thought other people would think. They left me silenced and ashamed.

It’s no secret to me now: Remaining silent does nothing but give the perpetrators more power. After reading these tweets and seeing the Chris Brown madness unfold, one more thing has become abundantly clear to me—how we have these conversations is just as important (if not more) as actually having the conversations.

It’d be great to see both Chris and Rihanna—arguably two of the world’s biggest young celebrities at the moment—stepping out and stepping up to let their fans (and the world) know that they’ve learned something (anything!) from this situation. That means conversations in which Chris is calm and composed, not throwing chairs at windows and giving everyone the middle finger. It means discussions that are handled gracefully and maturely.

These are conversations that should have happened before they released not one, but two singles together this week. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against them working together. In fact, I think that they are very talented artists. But I do feel that they owe their fans – the young ladies and men who look to them as role models whether they like it or not—some sort of an explanation. If the songs were about forgiveness, that would be one thing. They’re not. They seem more about them remembering their sex lives together.

Frankly, this is not about hating Chris Brown; not to me, anyway. I know the power of forgiveness and it has helped me move on. It’s like a breath of fresh air. So I can understand Rihanna wanting to move on. To me, this is about speaking out against abuse. Because, although we don’t know what happened between the two of them on that night, nothing that Rihanna could have said or done should merit Chris’ reaction. Period. It’s not okay.

Chris Brown clearly needs help dealing with his anger issues and outbursts. Young ladies need help understanding that although they love Chris Brown as an artist, he is still at fault for what he’s done in his personal life. Those who are saying nasty things about him could really make a difference by using his actions to educate others by letting them know that it’s not cool to have your trust violated – and in the most volatile manner—by someone who claims to love you. Because, as we can see from this incident, women of all races are vulnerable to violence at the hand of an intimate partner*, and domestic violence affects everyone—regardless of socioeconomic class.*

It’s time to start talking about it. It’s time to have effective and meaningful conversations. 

~ Source: *Domestic Violence Research Center

Alicia Harper, M.A., Ed.M. is a single mother, freelance writer, blogger, and recent graduate of Columbia University who’s now a mental health therapist. Her life is filled with all things pink, except for the one bit of blue—her rambunctious 4-year-old son. Together they make a great pair, and Alicia chronicles the trials and triumphs of being a young, single mother living in NYC at Mommy Delicious. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Dallas Morning News Story on Veronica Galaviz


The story about Veronica’s speech about surviving domestic violence Thursday in Dallas is now featured on The Dallas Morning News website.  Please stop by and check it out.

We offer a special thanks to editor Mike Drago and reporter Melissa Repko for providing the coverage for this story.

Enhanced by ZemantaYou can also hear her address here:
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The Jan 27, 2011 Address to Dallas County Probation Officers

HEAR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR’S ADDRESS TO DALLAS COUNTY PROBATION OFFICERS
Veronica Galaviz Spoke For The 1st Time Before Court Officers Since April 2010 Attack

DALLAS:  Veronica Galaviz, who has launched her own organization to raise awareness about the effects of domestic violence, Thursday spoke to members of the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, during a noon luncheon. Dallas County Juvenile Probation Officers and officers from other surrounding counties will also be in attendance.

During the address she outlined what life has been like the past nine months; how she has struggled to begin the recovery process and the challenges that have come about since then.

This address marked the first time she has spoken before court officers since nearly being murdered by her late-estranged husband who violated the terms of a protective order and broke into her house on April 21, 2010 and tried to kill her before setting the house on fire and killing himself.  While under the court’s protective order, Ms. Galaviz reported multiple violations to Rowlett Police, but they never would make an arrest.

Ms. Galaviz has created her own organization, LivingToShare.org, and has become active in seeking changes in Texas laws, including support for San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer’s House Bill 100 designed to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders proposed legislation to create a Domestic Violence Registry.

She also is supporting HB 825, that seeks to add stalking provisions to the awarding of a protective order.  The bill was introduced Monday by Dallas Rep. Rafael Anchia.

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Veronica Galaviz To Speak To Dallas County Probation Officers Thursday

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR TO SPEAK TO DALLAS COUNTY PROBATION OFFICERS THURSDAY
Veronica Galaviz To Speak 1st Time Before Court Officers Since April 2010 Attack

DALLAS:  Veronica Galaviz, who has launched her own organization to raise awareness about the effects of domestic violence, Thursday will speak to members of the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, during a noon luncheon. Dallas County Juvenile Probation Officers and officers from other surrounding counties will also be in attendance.

This will mark the first time she has spoken before court officers since nearly being murdered by her late-estranged husband who violated the terms of a protective order and broke into her house on April 21, 2010 and tried to kill her before setting the house on fire and killing himself.  While under the court’s protective order, Ms. Galaviz reported multiple violations to Rowlett Police, but they never would make an arrest.

The event will begin at 12 p.m. in the Great Room of Highland Park United Methodist Church, located at 3300 Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.

Ms. Galaviz has created her own organization, LivingToShare.org, and has become active in seeking changes in Texas laws, including support for San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer’s House Bill 100 designed to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders proposed legislation to create a Domestic Violence Registry.

She also is supporting HB 825, that seeks to add stalking provisions to the awarding of a protective order.  The bill was introduced Monday by Dallas Rep. Rafael Anchia.

Veronica Galaviz

After surviving an attack in her Rowlett, Texas home on April 21, 2010 by her estranged husband, Veronica Galaviz now seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, increase victims’ rights, implement tougher enforcement of protective orders and sensitivity training for police officers who respond to domestic violence complaints, and offer educational grants to victims allowing them to obtain financial independence and freedom from their abusers.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a Dallas public relations firm focused on social impact, innovation and invention.  Owned by former political advisor and Dallas ISD spokesman Donald Claxton, the company specializes in social media and traditional mediums to market and brand products domestically and internationally.  The company provides PR services for brands, bloggers, businesses and school districts.

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Veronica Galaviz Interviewing With Univision 23 in Dallas


Veronica Galaviz interviewing with Univision 23 reporter in Dallas about the proposed legislation to create a Domestic Violence Offenders Registry in Texas.

The bill has been proposed by San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders, is an idea she supports

“Well obviously, I haven’t seen the bill but I think it’s a great idea.  I agree that it’s a good tool that someone can use to research a potential suitor,” Galaviz said. “I agree that it’s a great tool, especially for someone who doesn’t have the means to do a criminal background check on a potential suitor.  It would be an easy tool to use.”

Galaviz, a survivor of a domestic violence attack by her estranged husband in April 2010 in Rowlett, Texas, said those in one abusive relationship need all the reassurances they can get about before getting into another relationship with someone.

“Once you’re in an abusive relationship, you have some trust issues and you always have some doubts and this would be one way to relieve some of those doubts,” Galaviz said.    “This would be something that you would have at your fingertips, just like Google; you can research something there. It’d have a list of names of all the offenders.  The only drawback is if they could find someway to eliminate the victims’ names from these lists and just have the abusers’ names on the list.”

Galaviz has created her own non-profit organization designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and to seek tougher enforcement of laws pertaining to domestic violence situations.  Her website is LivingToShare.org.

Next week in Dallas, Galaviz is slated to speak to a group of law enforcement officers about her experiences and her mission to raise awareness.

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NORTH TEXAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR: OFFENDERS’ LIST A GOOD IDEA

NORTH TEXAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR: OFFENDERS’ LIST A GOOD IDEA

Veronica Galaviz’s Statement To CBS 11 KTVT Dallas

DALLAS:  North Texas Domestic Violence Survivor Veronica Galaviz Thursday said in an interview with CBS 11 KTVT in Dallas Reporter Jay Gormley that legislation proposed by San Antonio State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer to create a domestic violence computer database in Texas, much like the one used to track sex offenders, is an idea she supports

“Well obviously, I haven’t seen the bill but I think it’s a great idea.  I agree that it’s a good tool that someone can use to research a potential suitor,” Galaviz said. “I agree that it’s a great tool, especially for someone who doesn’t have the means to do a criminal background check on a potential suitor.  It would be an easy tool to use.”

Galaviz, a survivor of a domestic violence attack by her estranged husband in April 2010 in Rowlett, Texas, said those in one abusive relationship need all the reassurances they can get about before getting into another relationship with someone.

“Once you’re in an abusive relationship, you have some trust issues and you always have some doubts and this would be one way to relieve some of those doubts,” Galaviz said.    “This would be something that you would have at your fingertips, just like Google; you can research something there. It’d have a list of names of all the offenders.  The only drawback is if they could find someway to eliminate the victims’ names from these lists and just have the abusers’ names on the list.”

Galaviz has created her own non-profit organization designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and to seek tougher enforcement of laws pertaining to domestic violence situations.  Her website is LivingToShare.org.

Next week in Dallas, Galaviz is slated to speak to a group of law enforcement officers about her experiences and her mission to raise awareness.

Veronica Galaviz

After surviving an attack in her home on April 21, 2010 by her estranged husband, Veronica Galaviz now seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, increase victims’ rights, implement tougher enforcement of protective orders and sensitivity training for police officers who respond to domestic violence complaints, and offer educational grants to victims allowing them to obtain financial independence and freedom from their abusers.

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Arlington Officer’s Death A Wakeup Call to Legislatures, Law Enforcement

For Immediate Release                                         Contact: Donald J. Claxton
Dec. 29, 2010                                                                       972-863-8784
dclaxton@claxtoncreative.com

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR SAYS LEGISLATURE, LAW ENFORCEMENT MUST LOOK AT SLAYING OF ARLINGTON OFFICER AS CALL TO ACTION

Veronica Galaviz says Domestic Violence laws are not working, and responding officers are not well trained on enforcing them, nor taking them seriously

DALLAS: Rowlett, Tex. Domestic Violence survivor Veronica Galaviz Wednesday said the slaying of Arlington Police Officer Jillian Smith while on a domestic violence call is further evidence that law enforcement is not taking the dangers of it seriously and that Legislatures across America need to come to terms that domestic violence laws are not working.

“I’m deeply saddened about the death of Officer Jillian Smith in Arlington, who apparently answered what was thought to be an inactive domestic violence call with no backup,” Galaviz said.  “The problem is once a domestic violence situation takes place, it’s never inactive again.  My belief is that anytime an officer is dispatched to the scene of a domestic violence event, whether in progress or not, they should have back up. This just goes to the feeling that law enforcement does not take the words ‘Domestic Violence’ as seriously as they should.  I’m living proof that this is pervasive throughout law enforcement.”

Galaviz also said that Legislatures across America need to re-examine what’s being done to stop domestic violence.

“In the past few months, I’ve been told that the Texas Council on Family Violence feels that there are adequate laws on the books pertaining to domestic violence, and yet people keep getting killed from it and this time, it also involved an officer of the law,” Galaviz said.  “It’s time for everyone from Gov. Rick Perry, the lt. governor and the Speaker of the House on down to get serious and begin to take a hard look at how we are failing those living in toxic relationships throughout Texas.”

“Lawmakers and law enforcement officers must begin to look at domestic violence as not something in the imagination of an alleged or potential victim, but rather from the standpoint of someone who is so far over the edge that killing innocent family victims, themselves and officers of the law is totally within the realm of possibilities. I’m one of the rare survivors.  Unfortunately, Officer Smith and the mother killed in Arlington were not,” Galaviz said.

Galaviz was nearly murdered when her estranged husband broke into her home at 1:30 a.m. on April 21, 2010, and set the house on fire before shooting himself. Prior to him breaking in, she had a protective order in place and had reported multiple violations of it to local law enforcement, who did nothing.

As part of her recovery, Galaviz has created LivingToShare.org and created her non-profit organization to help others who might be in a tragic domestic relationship.

During the April attack, Galaviz awoke to find her estranged husband in her home and armed with a shotgun.  He told Galaviz that he was going to kill her.  Galaviz says thankfully she had a friend also in the home who attempted to fend off her husband.  The friend was shot in the hand in the process.  Thankfully, Galaviz and her friend were able to escape and call authorities.  When the Rowlett Fire Department arrived at the home it was engulfed in flames and her attacker was found dead inside.

Galaviz’s conflict remains that she repeatedly notified the Rowlett Police Department of her husband’s violations of a protective order that was issued in November of 2009 with the assistance of her attorney, Julie Lucio, of Lucio, LaFleur and Associates in Richardson.

Each time Galaviz confronted RPD they told her that her husband hadn’t done enough to warrant his arrest so he could be brought before the judge who issued the protective order.

Veronica Galaviz

After surviving an attack in her home on April 21, 2010 by her estranged husband, Veronica Galaviz now seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, increase victims’ rights, implement tougher enforcement of protective orders and sensitivity training for police officers who respond to domestic violence complaints, and offer educational grants to victims allowing them to obtain financial independence and freedom from their abusers.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a DFW-area based public relations firm focused on Social impact, innovation and invention.  Owned by former political advisor and Dallas ISD spokesman Donald Claxton, the company specializes in social media and traditional mediums to market and brand products domestically and internationally.  The company provides PR services for brands, bloggers, businesses and school districts.

 

Domestic Violence Kills A Russian Woman EVERY HOUR

Veronica Galaviz has been saying since she began her campaign that Domestic Violence is a worldwide issue.   Here’s proof.

A study released today from Moscow says that a woman dies from domestic violence every 63 minutes in Russia, with more than 650,000 women beaten by their husbands and other relatives each year.

Living To Share is looking for facts and figures for countries around the world.  This is not just a problem in America.

The article says that for comparison, a woman is killed in a British domestic violence case once every three days.

Living To Share has begin to raise funds for a campaign to raise awareness about this issue.  Please take a moment while you’re here to make a donation to our organization so that we can begin to make a difference.

Living To Share Organization Holds First Fund-raiser

DALLAS: Veronica Galaviz, the Rowlett woman nearly murdered by her estranged husband in April, 2010 will hold the first fund-raiser for her new non-profit organization, Living To Share, Saturday night in Addison. 

Earlier this week, Galaviz announced she has created a Website and non-profit organization to raise awareness about domestic violence and to help other victims.

The Saturday evening event will be held at the Addison Pointe Sports Bar and Grill located at 4578 Belt Line Road at 7 p.m.

“Saturday night’s event is a big step in our efforts to begin to raise awareness about Domestic Violence from the perspective of a survivor,” Galaviz said. “We have a lot of work ahead with the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature.  Already this week, we’ve heard of some great changes that are going to be proposed in the 2011 session about stalking and obtaining a protective order.”

Galaviz has created LivingToShare.org, a Website she is using to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic abuse and how even when armed with laws and orders designed to protect men and women worried about domestic violence reoccurring, little happens.

Donations can be sent to Living To Share, PO Box 861885, Plano, TX 75086-1885.

Since announcing her organization Tuesday, Galaviz has received three invitations to speak to local and state organizations in the coming months.  Two of those requests have come from Dallas County law enforcement offices.

“Already this week we’re beginning to see opportunities presenting themselves that will help officers in law enforcement better understand domestic violence from the perspective of a survivor,” Galaviz said.  “After eight months of trying to put my life back together, this is an incredible turn of events.”

About 1:25 a.m. April 21, Galaviz awoke to find her estranged husband in her home and armed with a shotgun.  He told Galaviz that he was going to kill her. Galaviz says thankfully she had a friend also in the home and began to fend off her husband but he was shot in the hand in the process. Galaviz and her friend were able to escape the home and call authorities. When the Rowlett Fire Department arrived at the home at 1:44 a.m., it was engulfed in flames and her husband was found dead inside.

Part of Galaviz’s conflict remains that she repeatedly notified the Rowlett Police Department of her husband’s violations of a protective order she obtained in November 2009 through divorce attorney Julie Lucio.   Each time she confronted the RPD they told her that her husband hadn’t done enough to warrant his arrest so he could be brought before the judge who issued the protective order.

Veronica Galaviz

After surviving an attack in her home on April 21, 2010 by her estranged husband, Veronica Galaviz now seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, increase victims’ rights, implement tougher enforcement of protective orders and sensitivity training for police officers who respond to domestic violence complaints, and offer educational grants to victims allowing them to obtain financial independence and freedom from their abusers.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a DFW-area based public relations firm focused on Social impact, innovation and invention.  Owned by former political advisor and Dallas ISD spokesman Donald Claxton, the company specializes in social media and traditional mediums to market and brand products domestically and internationally.  The company provides PR services for brands, bloggers, businesses and school districts.

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CBS Channel 11 KTVT Does Update Story On LivingToShare.org

Stephanie Lucero from CBS Channel 11 in Dallas, station KTVT, met with Veronica Galaviz on Tuesday to talk about the creation of her new organization, LivingTo Share.org.

Here is a link to the CBS 11 story.