DOVE Project

Doorway Out of Violence Education (D.O.V.E.) Project

doorway out of violence¬†Warning: Computer use leaves a trail which can be monitored. For safety, use one at a public library or a friend’s home.

DOVE and Mary Kay Moody provide information on domestic and dating violence.

“Of all the health and human services challenges we face, perhaps the most devastating, and ironically, the most preventable is the epidemic of violence sweeping across this nation.” Donna Shalala, former US Secretary, Health & Human Services, Addressing the Crisis of Violence. Health Affairs, Winter, 1993

Do you know someone who is (or you think is) a victim of domestic violence (DV)?

Most of us would answer “no” and move on, grateful we don’t have to deal with that thorny issue. But…

Domestic Violence is an epidemic that impacts just about every person in the US. (I imagine the same would hold true for other countries, but this is where I have statistics.)

  • 4 million women are seriously assaulted each year. [APA “Violence and the Family Taskforce, 1996]
  • 1 out of 3 women are/will be victims of DV in their lifetime
  • 30% of women experience their first incident of abuse while pregnant.
  • Nearly $73 million annually, the cost to business in lost productivity [2003 Center for Disease Control’s Cost of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women.]
  • 74% of employed battered women were harassed at work by their partner.
  • Various studies report between 30% and 60% of children in a DV household are also abused. [Nat’l Clearinghouse on Child Abuse & Neglect Information]
  • 3.3 to 10 million children witness the abuse of a parent (or adult caregiver) each year in the U.S. [Office for Victims of Crime]
  • Children of all ages, from pre-born to adult, are impacted by their mother’s abuse.
  • Family Counseling is not the treatment of choice. It is often not safe, typically not effective.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of coercive control of one partner by the other (overwhelmingly male upon female). Physical assault is but one tool of many the batterer employs. Women victims typically are very confused about why the assaults continue to happen, how they end up always on the losing end of things no matter how often or how hard they try to “fix” things. And they typically keep the abuse a secret, buying into the abuser’s taunts that it is all their fault.

Would you still answer “no?”

The facts indicate that most of us are in contact with someone who is impacted by DV, man, woman, or child, though we are not aware of it.

May I suggest:

  • Learn the signs, how DV manifests itself
  • Learn the myths
    • No, she doesn’t put up with it because it doesn’t bother her
    • Yes, he CAN help himself; he is not out of control, but very much in control.
  • Learn your local resources, emergency hotline
  • Give referral information! DV is a deadly situation. Let people who are trained in safety issues provide assistance.

Here are some links to sites with information:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline ( information on DV, safety. Can connect you to local resources and shelters.

The Ripple Effect – source of extensive information, research, and referrals. Also services in Santa Clara County, California.

Consider having Mary Kay Moody, LCSW, speak to your church, professional society, class, or women’s group on domestic violence. Some possible topics include:

  • Knowing the signs to look for
  • What is Domestic Violence?
    • Power and Control Tools, cycles, escalation patters, safety issues
  • How to Help a friend who is a DV victim
  • How are children affected? Risks and what help is available
    • Infants
    • Toddlers
    • Middle School
    • High School
  • Responding to a DV victim and their family
    • This workshop will be customized for your group: clergy, mental health workers, teachers, friends and family

    Teen dating violence – What to Look for and How to offer help

Be prepared.

You will encounter DV victims. Probably abusers, as well. If you’re prepared, you might intersect that person’s path at an opportune moment and help them make the turn in life trajectory they’ve wished for. The funny story below points out consequences of being unprepared.

A friend was lecturing in Latin America. he was going to use a translator, but to identify with his audience, he wanted to begin his talk by saying in Spanish, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.” He arrived at the auditorium a little early and realized he did not know the Spanish words for ladies and gentlemen. being rather resourceful, he went to the part of the building where the restrooms were, looked at the signs on the two doors, and memorized those two words.

When the audience arrived and he was introduced, he stood up and said in Spanish, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.”

The audience was shocked. He didn’t know whether he had offended them or perhaps they hadn’t heard him or understood him. So he decided to repeat it. Again in Spanish he said, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.”

One person in the audience began to snicker. Pretty soon the entire audience was laughing finally someone told him that he had said, “Good evening bathrooms and broom closets!” [from]