September 30, 2009

Call for artistic VOICES

We were asked to post the below in an effort to spread the word about this.  Please read and pass it on to all you think would be interested!  If you would like to participate in this please use the contact information contained in the website given below.

My name is Michelle Major.

I am a mother, a teacher, an artist.

I am also a survivor of domestic violence.

In August 2008, my husband tried to murder me in an act of domestic violence. Before beating me and strangling me to unconsciousness, he took a butcher knife and slashed ninety-four of my paintings. Through my artwork, I have moved from victim to survivor and I have turned my second chance at life into advocating for victims of domestic violence. I am spreading my story by sharing my butchered artwork through gallery showings and speaking engagements. I have turned this passion for shining a light onto the ugliness of domestic violence into an organization called BAVA: Be A Voice Arts to provide healing through artistic expression.

For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, BAVA is hosting an "Artist Trading Card" challenge. An ATC is a small card, about the size of a playing card on which people write , draw, paint, collage, use photographs and more. ATC's are a worldwide art form where people often have 'groups' , create 'themes', and then create miniature works of art to trade and collect. They are almost like modern day baseball cards to some folks! I have complete details on my website:  (***There is a 5.00 participation fee that will be waived if someone participates through a group home, therapy session, or some other type of organization designed to promote their healing). BAVA wants their voice, not their money!!

The theme is "I HAVE A VOICE!".

My creative vision for these ATC's is this:

I want to create a work of art where the cards hang on my wedding dress as an interactive gallery piece. The reason I am creating this wedding VOICE piece comes as an outcropping of a painting I did called "Til Death". 'Til Death' is a painting of me as a bride, tortured and hopeless, with 'X's" over the mouth to symbolize the secret and shame and inability to speak up during a relationship of abuse. After viewing that portrait, one would think that my wedding dress would be a symbol of the loss of hopes and dreams for a marriage and a future, yet in actuality, the dress will be transformed to symbolize the literal artistic VOICES that have come together as one to "Speak Up Against Domestic Violence". I want to hang all the submitted cards from the dress skirt and viewers can come up, turn the cards over in their hands, move around the piece and experience the "Voices!" I am hoping to generate enough response to fill up the skirt. I think it will be a very powerful piece and full of hope!

Help me fill the dress with YOUR artistic voice.  You may save a life!


call for artistic VOICES.docx

September 29, 2009

The Allstate Foundation and Tell a Gal P.A.L

The Allstate Foundation is once again running Tell a Gal P.A.L and  The Allstate Foundation supports survivors through resources targeted to build financial independence and educates the public on how hard it is for people to leave an abusive relationship without economic resources.
Readers can share stories of overcoming domestic violence or helping a “gal pal” in need at Readers who submit stories can enter to receive a limited edition Tell a Gal P.A.L. t-shirt as worn by Mira Sorvino on the Web site.  Share Your Story

DONATE A SUIT (Sep. 28-Oct. 9)
Domestic violence survivors often find themselves with limited means to get back into the workforce and attain financial security. The Allstate Foundation is encouraging Americans to drop off nearly new women’s business suits to benefit survivors from September 28 to October 9 at select Allstate locations across the country. Donated suits will be given to local domestic violence organizations and Dress for Success affiliates to outfit domestic violence survivors with confidence as they enter or re-enter the workforce.  Donation Site Search

September 27, 2009

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Blog Carnival

Hi All, we have been honored by Anonymiss to kick off their new domestic violence blog carnival by hosting the first edition of the carnival.

The first edition will be posted here on October 1st, 2009.  This edition will cover everything relating to Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).  So, to kick of your DVAM activities, please make sure to come back and read the carnival on the 1st!

If you have an article about DVAM general information or activities that you would like to submit we are accepting submissions until the 30th of September 2009.  You can get more guidance or submit your article HERE, or you can email a permalink to your article with a brief description to

If you are wondering what a blog carnival is, you can go HERE, and read about it.  If you would like more specifics about the Domestic Violence Blog Carnival go HERE.  If you would like to submit an article visit the carnival main link and then click submit an article in the upper right corner.  If you are having difficulties you can contact the carnival organizer by either using the links provided or directly at

Please share this post with anyone that you know that would either have an article for submission or those that may benefit from reading the DVAM edition post on the 1st.   

September 23, 2009

DV Survivor Speaks out

All women and teen girls need to watch this short news clip!  Please pass on to any female you know.  With Domestic Violence Awareness Month right around the corner this is the perfect time to share this story with all that you know. 
A North Idaho woman, Rose Turner, nearly killed in a shootout with her estranged husband, Rick Turner, is now speaking out to about her personal experience with domestic violence as a warning to others.

September 16, 2009


Please visit the below Action Alert on the New Agenda Blog to leave your comments.  Link is below the address for the judge!


September 16, 2009
by The New AgendacloseAuthor: The New Agenda Name: agenda
About: See Authors Posts (225)

16 September 2009 One Comment

The following ACTION ALERT has been sent this morning from The New Agenda.  If you would like to sign up to receive email alerts (including action alerts, media alerts and member alerts) please sign up here.
Dear Friends:

Let’s Join NOW NY and Take Action!
Next Monday, NY State Senator Hiram Monserrate stands trial for slashing his girlfriend’s face — an attack captured by video cameras in the apartment lobby.  Sen Monserrate continues to serve in public office despite being indicted on six counts of assault!

Read more about this horrific case in Amy’s Daily Beast article Did This Senator Beat Up His Girlfriend?.

Now it’s time for action!

Write or call the judge and let him know how important it is that perpetrators of violence against women be punished:

Hon. William M. Erlbaum
Supreme Court, Queens County
125 01 Queens Blvd.
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
(718) 298-1401

( And let us know that you did by leaving a comment! )

We’re A Voice for All Women:
Nancy and Jennifer spoke out on a harmful op-ed written about AG Martha Coakley; while Amy spoke out in The Daily Beast about the importance of electing a qualified woman to Massachusetts’ senate seat.

Cynthia spoke out about feminism vs. racism and that neither political party is the party of women.

Anna Belle was honored in Today’s Women.

Amy called for UNITY and a ceasefire in the mommy wars at MORE — the keys to gender equality are right in our own hands.

How Can YOU Help?
Become a charter member, and if you have spare time, please volunteer!

Your Friends At
The New Agenda

The New Agenda » Blog Archive » ACTION ALERT: SENATOR SLASHER!

Where is your purple gonna be?

I usually dye my hair purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) which is October, and I choose purple because that is the awareness color of Domestic Violence (DV).  People always stop me in public and ask me why my hair is purple; cause I do NOT look the type you’d think would normally have purple hair.  When they ask, I get the chance to tell them!!  Others aren’t so pushy with it and just hang purple lights around their house or purple ribbons on their cars.

Each year around this time I try to write up something about DVAM being just around the corner.  I like to make people aware of this month to encourage them to get involved in activities in their local areas.  Now is the time to start looking into what activities the DV agencies are hosting during the month of October, so that you can plan and won’t miss the event you want to attend or help with.

I feel that as a society we should be ‘aware’ of domestic violence year round.  However, I also realize that by setting aside a certain month to view a certain issue gives us time to focus on and process the information we receive during that specific month.  I encourage everyone to become involved in community programs through out the year, which are focused on preventing DV.

If you are not already involved in your local community or surrounding area with helping in the areas of DV Awareness and/or prevention, or helping the victims of DV then the following may be some ways in which you can get involved.  This is a general list to give you ideas.  If you would like more specific options on how you can help, please contact your local DV Shelter or State Domestic Violence Coalition.

Here is the post that I posted last year and I feel it still works, so I’m giving it to ya again!

So... I get asked: "Great, you tell me to help DV victims during awareness month, but how am I supposed to do that when I have never even met a DV victim?"

There are many people that would be more than willing to do something during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, however they just aren't sure what to do, or where or when or how...

This list is copied from this ARTICLE.  

In your place of worship
1. Encourage information about domestic abuse in the congregation's programs, youth groups, marriage preparation, study groups, etc.
2. Establish a committee to promote awareness of the problem and how the congregation can help.
3. Organize a drive to collect food, toiletries, household goods and other needed items for a local domestic violence service.
In your workplace
4. Display posters or brochures (in break rooms, restrooms, or meeting rooms) to promote awareness of domestic abuse and how to get help.
5. Organize a Brown Bag lunch or other event for co-workers and invite a speaker to talk about solutions to the problem.
6. Ask what policies your employer has developed to keep employees safe from a domestic abuser who threatens the workplace.
In schools and daycare
7. Encourage the editor of the school newspaper to have a special issue about teen dating violence and partner abuse.
8. Write a paper about domestic violence to share with students.
9. Educate teachers and other staff about the connection between child abuse and partner abuse.
In civic organizations, clubs or neighborhoods
10. Invite a speaker to educate organization members about domestic violence.
11. Organize a fundraising event or food/toiletries drive to benefit a domestic violence service agency.
12. Publish information about domestic violence and available resources in the newsletter.
13. "Adopt" a family seeking independence from an abuser, to assist with practical needs.

As a Citizen
14. Ask your local library to stock books on domestic violence and to set up displays to educate the public about the issue.
15. Speak out against domestic abuse: Expressing your view that domestic violence is unacceptable has a powerful effect on changing the norms that support abuse.
16. Write letters to newspaper editors or send commentaries to TV and radio to help raise awareness about domestic violence.
17. Vote for public leaders who take a strong stand against domestic abuse.
18. Call 911 if you see or hear a crime of domestic abuse in progress. Write down license plate numbers, locations, and any other information that may be helpful to law enforcement.
19. Volunteer with a domestic violence service. Organizations need help with office activities, fund raising events, technical and professional services and assistance to clients.
20. Donate used clothing and household goods to a program that gives these vital items to families seeking independence from an abuser.
21. Participate in neighborhood crime watch programs.

Hang information flyers and/or awareness flyers in public restrooms, or anywhere else you think would they would be noticed. Now keep in mind that you don't have to stop doing some of this stuff after October!  By all means...continue your efforts throughout the year.

The more the merrier!

So in stating this, I implore all of you out there to stand up and do something for domestic violence victims not only in October, but throughout the year. Turn these victims into proud SURVIVORS!!! Give them some hope and some help. To borrow a phrase used quite often, give them a hand-up not a hand-out.

All of these are really general and will take some research, time and effort on your part.  But, the way I look at it is this...the time I take to do even one of these activities just may save someone's are a few minutes of your life worth the life of another?

September 12, 2009

Domestic violence victims have a "pre-existing condition"

5:03 PM Eastern - September 11, 2009  By Maria Tchijov
Insurance companies have used the excuse of "pre-existing conditions" to deny coverage to countless Americans. From cancer patients to the elderly suffering from arthritis, these organizations have padded their profit margins by limiting coverage to patients deemed "high risk" because of their medical condition.
But, in DC and nine other states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, insurance companies have gone too far, claiming that "domestic violence victim" is also a pre-existing condition.
Words cannot describe the sheer inhumanity of this claim. It serves as yet further proof that our insurance system is broken, destroyed by the profit-mongering of the very companies who's sole purpose should be to provide Americans with access to care when they need it most. In 1994, an informal survey conducted by the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee revealed that 8 of the 16 largest insurers in the country used domestic violence as a factor when decided whether to extend coverage and how much to charge if coverage was extended.
It is clear that insurance companies refuse to police themselves. It's up to us to call on Congress to take action now to pass health care reform and end discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions.
SEIU - Service Employees International Union - Domestic violence victims have a "pre-existing condition"?

September 1, 2009


Things are changing around here at the UAADV News Blog!  We are un-cluttering the sidebars, adding some features, and moving the main website over to integrate the two.
First let’s talk about the Friend Connect Social bar that you now see at the bottom of the window.  This replaces the Followers module, where here it does!  You can still Follow Us or Sign in over on the left of this bar.  
Want to be friends with someone here?  Then look to the far right of the Social Bar and click ‘members’; followers are now members.  You can click each thumbnail to view that member and which blogs they follow, and add them as a friend.
Want to leave a comment about the entire site?  Or ask a question in general?  You can now do so with the Social bar.  Find the ‘comments’ just to the left of the ‘members’; click there and leave your comment.  It will show in the timeline for the entire blog (largest section of the Social bar).  You can of course still comment on each blog post just like always!
As for moving the main UAADV website over and integrating it, this will take us some time.  Please be patient with us as we get this done.  Once this is done you will be able to use the tabs across the top of the blog to access the many informational articles that were on the main website.
You probably already noticed that there is a new tab at the top “UAADV Network”.  This tab will take you off the blog and into the UAADV Network that is set up on the Ning platform.  This is a social network within Ning much like other social networks.  There you can have your own profile, enter discussions in a forum area, join groups, have chats and many other things.
As always, if you have questions regarding how to access or use any of these features please don’t hesitate to ask!  UAADV is for YOU, so let us know how YOU want to use it! 
UAADV is for victims, survivors and advocates alike!