1. Volunteer your time at a domestic violence agency. Agencies have many needs and not enough money for staff members.
2. Give money to a domestic violence program. Battered women’s shelters and programs often don’t have enough money to provide additional needed services. Alternatives to Domestic Violence is a United Way member agency, so designate us when you make your United Way contribution or you can become a Care Ring Member.
3. Become knowledgeable about domestic violence. Learn the facts and educate others.
4. Don’t judge battered women’s or men’s experiences. For people who haven’t experienced domestic violence, stories of abuse can sound like fantasy. Battered women and men need to know that they can talk about their experiences without being judged or disbelieved.
5. Be supportive when a battered person tells her story. Let her know that you are there for her emotionally and will listen.
6. Participate in legislation that affects domestic violence victims and survivors. Write your legislators and ask for their support when laws that affect battered women are introduced. Encourage legislators to introduce legislation that will help battered women.
7. Ask a domestic violence agency to provide a presentation for your group. ADV has speakers who will discuss domestic violence issues and their services. We regularly make presentations to civic and service clubs, businesses, faith-based organizations and many others including the schools through our Teen Violence Prevention Project.
8. Organize your business or group to have a “new toy” or “new clothes” drive to benefit DV victims. Toys can be used throughout the year for birthday’s and especially during the holidays. New clothes can be used during the year for back to school, job search, on the job and the Holidays. Remember that children who go to shelters often leave all their possessions behind. A new toy or stuffed animal can help them feel secure in their new surroundings.
9. Volunteer to help perform various administrative tasks at an outreach office. ADV needs office help during from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Typing, filing, answering phones and copying are among the many needs at each office.
10. Organize your business or group to do a fund-raiser. Then donate the money to Casa de Paz, an outreach office or to the greatest need of the agency.
11. Donate your professional skills. Our programs is always in need of legal, medical and other professional services. Often battered women don’t have the money to pay for these services and need them desperately for themselves and/or their children.
12. Work to remove obstacles that battered women encounter. One reason battered women have to stay in abusive relationships is because they encounter obstacles in getting legal, financial and housing assistance. Ask an agency about some of the obstacles battered women in your area encounter and become a catalyst for change. You might help by securing transportation, helping to provide job listings and training or listings for local Section 8 housing, for instance.
13. Read books and other information on domestic violence. You can start with “The Battered Woman,” by Lenore Walker; “Battered Wives,” by Del Martin, and “Getting Free,” by Ginny NiCarthy. Encourage your library and local bookstores to carry books on domestic violence.
14. Refer battered women to Alternatives to Domestic Violence. Carry crisis-line cards or brochures with you. Place them in public places. You can call our office and have cards and brochures mailed to you.
15. Teach children the difference between healthy relationships and abuse. If we don’t educate children and teens about abuse, they may become victims or perpetrators.
16. Ask your local law enforcement agency about its policies on domestic violence. Ask about current arrest statistics. Go online. Be informed.
17. Ask your local medical clinic or hospital to post information on domestic violence. Suggest that they have brochures and crisis-line cards in examination rooms or anywhere battered women might see them.
18. Be aware of sexist jokes and remarks. Some reinforce the myth that it is OK to abuse your partner.
19. Boycott or demand a refund when movies display violence against women. Explain to the theater manager why you will not financially support such movies.
20. Learn how to be a GREAT parent. Here are 10 Ways to get started:
Be a good role model. Your child learns from the example you set.
Show respect for your child’s feelings, thoughts and suggestions.
Make your child feel loved with your words of praise and your hugs and kisses.
Keep your word. If you must break it, apologize and make it up to your child.
Encourage your child’s creativity. Ask questions to stimulate curiosity and imagination.
Build your child’s self-esteem by showing appreciation for all genuine efforts.
Stay involved. Know what’s going on in your child’s life, both at school and with friends.
Discipline your child fairly, firmly and with love. Focus on the behavior, not the child.
Establish family traditions and make time to do fun things together.
Think positively. By expecting the best, you empower yourself and your child to solve problems and achieve goals.
Alternatives to Domestic Violence, P.O. Box 910, Riverside, CA 92502 Phone: (951) 320-1370 FAX: (951) 320-1381
Trauma Recovery Center Mental Health Services for Victims of Crime