Two-Millionth Call for Help Answered
I asked to leave because I couldn’t put up with the abuse any longer: physical and verbal. He grabbed me by my hair and slammed my head into the back of the hotel bed frame. Could nobody hear this?
My best friend at the time was waiting for me in the car. I took too long so she left.
I fell to the ground sobbing and guarding my face with my arms. I kept wishing his friend standing in astonishment over the parallel twin bed would stop him or at least say something. He didn’t. In fact, I later found out he too abused his girlfriend, but he was amazed when he saw someone else do it.
My abuser grew tired and soon after fell asleep. I heard him begin to breath heavily, which was the sign for me to leave. I began to slowly slip out from underneath the sheet, which lay wedged tightly between me and his arm dangling from the bed where I was not allowed to lay. But then, with such force, I felt his callused hand push my head back down. “You’re not going anywhere,” he whispered.
How could he do this? He is shorter than I am, and I knew he didn’t really love me. But, he also knew all of my friends, where I lived and where all my classes were. He also knew that my parents were living in another country.
I remember a time when I had nowhere to go, nobody to tell and only my abuser to face.
The two millionth call to The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) breaks the silence for yet another brave, “battered, but not broken,” soul on September 30, 2008, just in time to coincidently acknowledge National Violence Awareness Month (October).
This momentous breakthrough not only means a lot to me, but also to the two million callers and counting.
With the programs growing publicity and awareness, nobody has to go through what I once went through.
As proof of NDVH‘s success, calls have more than doubled since the program’s inception on February 24, 1996. It was part of the Congress-established Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) written by Senator, now Vice President-Elect, Joe Biden. His support, along with NDVH CEO Sheryl Cates’ compassion and drive, has created a safe haven for many. Thanks to the attention, awareness and support from the government and giving corporations NDVH has been able to increase their help nationally.
NDVH is the only domestic violence hotline with access to more than 5,000 shelters and domestic violence programs all over the nation. They are also commended for their easily accessible 24-hour, toll-free, confidential lines assisting in over 170 languages through interpreter accompanied by a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing.
The progress of the program has led to an acknowledgment of this still taboo topic, as Texas Council of Family Violence (TCFV) reports, and an increase in crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. We see a greater need for this program when viewing the statistics and facts on their Web site. Answering callers’ prayers and keeping one more person safe is all thanks to the gracious efforts of the nonprofit organization NDVH.
If you call, they will answer…