October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Deb Gordon’s guest was Rachel Goldsmith, Associate Vice President at Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim’s assistance organization that works to empower victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking, and envisions a society that is free of family and community violence.
Nationally 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Ms. Goldsmith discussed the impact domestic violence has on the entire family, especially the children, and the myriad services and programs Safe Horizon makes available to them.
“At Safe Horizon one of the things that we do is always focus around safety, our primary intervention is helping people stay safe,” said Goldsmith.
“Our goal is not to tell survivors they need to leave relationships…we want to help people get the services that they want, when they’re ready for that…we just want to help you stay safe.”
Spotlighted Safe Horizon’s #PutTheNailinIt anti-domestic violence campaign, whereby the community is encouraged to paint their left ring fingernail purple to create awareness about domestic violence, and help to break the silence and stigma that is often associated with it.
“This is a great campaign that everyone can get involved in,” said Goldsmith. “Domestic violence thrives in silence – by not talking about it, we really lose out in getting information to people who really need to know more about domestic violence.”
“Paint your left ring finger purple, and start the conversation. Someone may ask you ‘why is just that one finger painted purple, why not all of them’ and it really is a conversation starter.”
Many celebrities have lent their voices to the #PutTheNailinIt campaign including TV host Tamron Hall, and musician Dave Navarro, both of whom have had personal experience with domestic violence: Ms. Hall lost her sister to domestic violence and Mr. Navarro lost his mother when he was 15.
The #PutTheNailinIt campaign is also a way to raise funds to help victims and the community is encouraged to support the effort by sharing photos on social media with the hashtag #PutTheNailinIt and donating to Safe Horizon.
“Men, women, children – this isn’t just limited to women, this really is a way to say, I want to take a vow to end domestic violence,” said Goldsmith.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the Safe Horizon 24-hour hotline for information in Spanish and English. The number is 1-800-621-HOPE (4673).
For more information about all of Safe Horizon’s services, and to donate, visit www.safehorizon.org.