Tag: Domestic Violence

Do You Spank Your Children?: How Whites & African Americans Parent Differently

In college, I once found myself on the D.C. metro with one of my favorite professors. As we were riding, a young white child began to climb on the seats and hang from the bars of the train. His mother never moved to restrain him. But I began to see the very familiar, strained looks of disdain and dismay on the countenances of the mostly black passengers. They exchanged eye contact with one another, dispositions tight with annoyance at the audacity of this white child, but mostly at the refusal of his mother to act as a disciplinarian. I, too, was appalled. I thought, if that were my child, I would snatch him down and tell him to sit his little behind in a seat immediately. My professor took the opportunity to teach: “Do you see how this child feels the prerogative to roam freely in this train, unhindered by rules or regulations or propriety?”

“Yes,” I nodded. “What kinds of messages do you think are being communicated to him right now about how he should move through the world?”

And I began to understand, quite starkly, in that moment, the freedom that white children have to see the world as a place that they can explore, a place in which they can sit, or stand, or climb at will. The world, they are learning, is theirs for the taking.

Then I thought about what it means to parent a black child, any black child, in similar circumstances. I think of the swiftness with which a black mother would have ushered her child into a seat, with firm looks and not a little a scolding, the implied if unspoken threat of either a grounding or a whupping, if her request were not immediately met with compliance. So much is wrapped up in that moment: a desire to demonstrate that one’s black child is well-behaved, non-threatening, well-trained. Disciplined. I think of the centuries of imminent fear that have shaped and contoured African-American working-class cultures of discipline, the sternness of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ looks, the firmness of the belts and switches applied to our hind parts, the rhythmic, loving, painful scoldings accompanying spankings as if the messages could be imprinted on our bodies with a sure and swift and repetitive show of force.

I think with fond memories of the big tree that grew in my grandmother’s yard, with branches that were the perfect size for switches. I hear her booming and shrill voice now, commanding, “Go and pick a switch.” I laugh when I remember that she cut that tree down once we were all past the age of switches.

And then I turn to Adrian Peterson. Not even a year ago, Peterson’s 2-year-old son, whom he did not know, was murdered by his son’s mother’s boyfriend. More recently, Adrian Peterson has been charged with negligent injury to a child, for hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch, in a disciplinary episode that left the child with bruises and open cuts on his hands, legs, buttocks and scrotum.

In the text messages that Peterson sent to the boy’s mother, he acknowledged having gone too far, letting her know that he accidentally “got him in the nuts,” and that because the child didn’t cry, he didn’t realize the switch was hurting him. It would be easy to demonize Peterson as an abuser, but the forthrightness with which he talked about using belts and switches but not extension cords, because he “remembers how it feels to get whooped with an extension cord,” as part of his modes of discipline suggests he is merely riffing on scripts handed down to him as an African-American man.

These cultures of violent punishment are ingrained within African-American communities. In fact, they are often considered marks of good parenting. In my childhood, parents who “thought their children were too good to be spanked” were looked upon with derision. I have heard everyone from preachers to comedians lament the passing of days when a child would do something wrong at a neighbor’s house, get spanked by that neighbor, and then come home and get spanked again for daring to misbehave at someone else’s house. For many that is a vision of a strong black community, in which children are so loved and cared for that everyone has a stake in making sure that those children turn out well, and “know how to act.” In other words, it is clear to me that Peterson views his willingness to engage in strong discipline as a mark of being a good father.

Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that the loving intent and sincerity behind these violent modes of discipline makes them no less violent, no more acceptable. Some of our ideas about discipline are unproductive, dangerous and wrong. It’s time we had courage to say that.

I am not interested in haggling any more with black people about the difference between spankings and abuse, because when emotions and stakes are both as high as they are, lines are far too easily crossed.

Stakes are high because parenting black children in a culture of white supremacy forces us to place too high a price on making sure our children are disciplined and well-behaved. I know that I personally place an extremely high value on children being respectful, well-behaved and submissive to authority figures. I’m fairly sure this isn’t a good thing.

If black folks are honest, many of us will admit to both internally and vocally balking at the very “free” ways that we have heard white children address their parents in public. Many a black person has seen a white child yelling at his or her parents, while the parents calmly respond, gently scold, ignore, attempt to soothe, or failing all else, look embarrassed.

I can never recount one time, ever seeing a black child yell at his or her mother in public. Never. It is almost unfathomable.

As a kid in the 1980s and 1990s I loved family sitcoms. “Full House,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “Growing Pains.” You name it. But even before my own racial consciousness was fully formed, I remember knowing that I was watching white families very different from my own, in part, because of how children interacted with their families. Invariably on an episode, a child would get mad, yell at a parent, and then run up the stairs (white people’s sitcom houses always had stairs) and slam the door.

What I know for sure is that yelling, running away or slamming anything in the house that my single mama worked hard to pay for would be grounds for some serious disciplinary reprisal. Even now, when I think about what kind of behavior I would permit as a parent, I am clear that slamming doors in my home is unacceptable.

Still, I also know that my anger was not an emotion that found a free and healthy range of expression in my household. My mother is my own personal hero, but just as she did many things differently than her own mother did when it came to raising daughters, I know I will think very intentionally about making space for my children to experience a full range of emotions – anger included — in the safety of home. They can’t slam the door, but they can close it.

As for Adrian Peterson, he will have to deal with the legal consequences of his actions. It has long been time for us to forgo violence as a disciplinary strategy. But as Charles Barkley notes, if we lock up Adrian Peterson, we could lock up every other black parent in the South for the same behavior. Instead, I hope Peterson is a cautionary tale, not about the state intruding on our “right” to discipline our children but rather a wakeup call about how much (fear of) state violence informs the way we discipline our children.

If the murder of Michael Brown has taught us nothing else, we should know by now that the U.S. nation-state often uses deadly violence both here and abroad as a primary mode of disciplining people with black and brown bodies. Darren Wilson used deadly force against Michael Brown as a mode of discipline (and a terroristic act) for Brown’s failure to comply with the request to walk on the sidewalk.

The loving intent and sincerity of our disciplinary strategies does not preclude them from being imbricated in these larger state-based ideas about how to compel black bodies to act in ways that are seen as non-menacing, unobtrusive and basically invisible. Many hope that by enacting these micro-level violences on black bodies, we can protect our children from macro and deadly forms of violence later.

Perhaps it is audacious of me to encourage black parents to focus less on producing well-behaved children in a world that clearly hates them. Black boys and girls are suspended or expelled from school more than all other demographics of boys and girls, often for similar behaviors, simply because their engagement in those behaviors is perceived as more aggressive.

White children in general are raised to be Columbus, to “discover” the world anew and then to manipulate and order the universe to their own liking. If we take away the colonizing impulse in living this way, I think it would be amazing to have the luxury of raising black children who also view the world as a space of their own making, a space to be explored, a space to build anew. A space where occasionally, simply because you live there, you can opt to walk in the middle of the street instead of being confined to the sidewalk, much as you might sling your leg across the arm of a chair in your own home, because it is home.

But for so many black children, these kinds of frivolous choices will get you killed or locked up. For black children, finding disciplinary methods that instill a healthy sense of fear in a world that is exceptionally violent toward them is a hard balance to find.

The thing is, though: Beating, whupping or spanking your children will not protect them from state violence.  It won’t keep them out of prison. Ruling homes and children with an iron fist will not restore the dignity and respect that the outside world fails to confer on adult black people.

What these actions might do is curtail creativity, inculcate a narrative about “acceptable” forms of violence enacted against black bodies, and breed fear and resentment between parents and children that far outlasts childhood.

Violence in any form is not love. Let us make sure first to learn that lesson. And then if we do nothing else, let us teach it to our children.


*Article originally published on Salon.

The NFL Needs To Mind Its Own Damn Business!

Once again the NFL has stuck its nose in its employees business. Adrian Peterson is the next victim – first he’s “deactivated”, and now he’s not. Ray Rice was barely in trouble, and now he’s not working at all. NFL, what gives?!

I’m sure you’ve already heard the news about Ray Rice & his appeal with the NFL Commission. Well, the Minnesota Vikings just reinstated Adrian Peterson after he was charged with a felony in Texas for using a wooden switch to spank his son. Peterson, who said he was using a form of discipline his father used on him as a boy, was forced to sit out over the weekend but is now able to play again. What’s with the flip-flop? Why is Rice out but Peterson is in? Why is what either of them do outside of work grounds for suspension, let alone dismissal? More importantly, why is the NFL involved in people’s personal lives?!

The last time I checked the NFL stood for National Football League not National Family League. In other words, the NFL needs to stick to moderating what happens on the field not what happens off the field. They need to stay out of people’s business and out of their homes. For example, if I drink a lot outside of work & get into an altercation (especially if the other person involved chooses not to press charges, as was the case with Ray Rice’s then-fiancee) that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my work-life and my job should remain intact. Now, if this altercation causes me to get arrested, miss several days of work, etc.., then it’s perfectly understandable that I lose my job. My time off of work & the bad press from my arrest are all detrimental to my career and can potentially tarnish my company’s name so it would only make sense that they let me go.

But where does it end? If all companies interfered with their employee’s personal comings & goings, then there would be a whole lot of people out of work. According to the Nat’l Coalition Against Domestic Violence approximately 42.4 million women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking. One in three women have experienced physical violence by being slapped, pushed, or shoved by their partner. All in all, intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime. So basically, if every person that committed an active of domestic abuse was arrested, NEARLY 1/3 OF THE ENTIRE OF THE ENTIRE MALE POPULATION WOULD BE IN JAIL.

So what do I think should happen? Well, I certainly don’t think a man should get off scott-free. I think that the first offense should be an automatic multi-game suspension. The second offense should be a multi-game suspension, mandatory counseling & a hefty fine. After that? Well, after that any NFL player involved with domestic abuse should be suspended (pending further legal action). Keep in mind, that some women do lie about being violated which can cause an unnecessary uproar. I’m not saying that every beatdown requires a video (like Mr. Rice’s) but there should be a police report, witnesses, etc. Also there are many many women who stay in abusive relationships so when you release a man from his job & take away his livelihood, it’s affecting his family in an even greater way.

As far as I’m concerned unless someone’s personal business interferes with their performance on the field, the NFL needs to just butt out.


Ray Rice Deserves His Job Back!


The NFL’s history of punishing players in domestic violence cases is as complicated as the legal cases themselves.

Sometimes players were suspended for a game or two. Sometimes, charges were reduced, which also reduced the severity of the NFL punishment. Sometimes, charges were dropped and players’ names were cleared.

Domestic violence now seems to be the football league’s No. 1 off-field issue.

Last month, the NFL announced a new policy against it. Then, this week, running back Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the National Football League on the same day a video showed him knocking out his future wife with a punch earlier this year.

But the league hasn’t always been so assertive about the matter, one expert said. Domestic violence accounts for 85 of the 713 arrests of NFL players since 2000 in a database compiled by USA Today.

At a domestic violence summit in Florida about 15 years ago, “the NFL actually sent a representative who argued, ‘Are you kidding me? They’re giving up two out of 16 paychecks for this issue. Isn’t that a significant enough penalty?’ And back then, they would take that (to the public). Today, it’s a different story,” said Don Yaeger, co-author of the 1998 book, “Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL.”

Here’s how the NFL is handling or has handled punishment in some other cases:


Ray McDonald (San Francisco 49ers)

Three days after Commissioner Roger Goodell created a new NFL policy against domestic violence on August 28, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested on an accusation of felony domestic violence.

The new policy imposes a six-game unpaid ban for first-time offenders and up to a lifetime ban for second-time offenders.

No charges have been filed in the incident involving McDonald, and the case was still being investigated Tuesday, said spokesman Sean Webby of the Santa Clara County, California, District Attorney’s Office.

McDonald was arrested by San Jose police at 2:45 a.m. at his house, where a party was being held for his approaching 30th birthday. McDonald allegedly became involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who was 10 weeks’ pregnant, a police source told the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Several 49ers players attended the party, CNN affiliate KTVU said.

The fiancee showed police minor bruises on her neck and arms, the newspaper said.

After McDonald posted bail, he stated he couldn’t say much about the case.

“The truth will come out,” he told KTVU. “Everybody knows what kind of person I am … a good-hearted person.”

On Tuesday, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said the team was awaiting the outcome of the criminal case against McDonald before determining whether to punish him.

“I think it’s very important that we do let due process take its course,” York told KNBR-AM. “I think it’s very important that we don’t judge somebody before, whether charges are filed or whether anything else happens. We want to make sure that everybody is afforded the right that I think Americans are afforded.”


Greg Hardy (Carolina Panthers)

Defensive end Greg Hardy was convicted in a bench trial this summer of assaulting his former girlfriend and threatening to kill her, both misdemeanors.

Hardy is appealing, and the Carolina Panthers team said last month it wouldn’t discipline him until his appeals are completed, ESPN reported.

The former girlfriend accused Hardy of throwing her on a pile of guns and said he “bragged that all of those assault rifles were loaded,” her motion for a protection order said earlier this year, according to The Charlotte Observer newspaper, which posted a copy of her request online.

The woman said Hardy picked her up, threw her into the bathroom, dragged her into the bedroom, choked her, picked her up again and “threw me onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns,” her protection order request said, according to the Observer.

Hardy threatened to shoot her if she went to the media or reported the assault, the court papers said, according to the Observer.

However, the NFL website cites an Associated Press account about 911 tapes revealing a different version of events.

“Hardy can be heard on a call saying: ‘My assistant is trying to restrain her, and she’s trying to break free and hit me with her heel. I’m literally running around the table right now.’ Hardy also alleges that the accuser could be on drugs,” NFL.com reported.

Some sports analysts are urging Goodell to punish Hardy: “With Hardy, as with Rice, Goodell needs to make a statement that the league has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to how men in his league treat women,” ESPN commentator Ashley Fox wrote.

When asked about the criminal case against him in July, Hardy said he disliked how it is a distraction.

“I hate that I have distracted my team,” Hardy said, according to ESPN. “Other than that I can’t answer that question.”


A.J. Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings)

In November 2013, Minnesota Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson was arrested on a felony count of domestic assault by strangulation, CNN affiliate KARE reported.

His 23-year-old girlfriend claimed to have been in an early morning domestic dispute with Jefferson, who yelled and grabbed her neck, CNN affiliate WCCO reported.

On the day of his arrest, Jefferson was cut by the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL reported. Also, after the arrest, the NFL suspended Jefferson for four games, but Goodell lifted the suspension, the league said. The NFL website didn’t say why.

Jefferson finished last season with the Cleveland Browns before being placed on the injured reserve list because of an ankle problem, according to the National Football Post.

In March, Jefferson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of domestic assault in the 2013 case, WCCO reported. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended to three days times served, The Seattle Times reported. In May, Jefferson was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks, which won the Super Bowl last season.


Robert Reynolds (Tennessee Titans)

A fifth-round draft pick in 2004 by the Tennessee Titans, linebacker Robert Reynolds made the team and played in all but three of its regular season games over his first two seasons.

But 2006 was a different story. In October of that year, Ohio authorities issued a warrant for Reynolds’ arrest on domestic violence and assault charges relating to his now ex-wife, according to The Tennessean newspaper.

After the charges were filed, then-Titans coach Jeff Fisher asked Reynolds to leave the team facility and decided he wouldn’t play that weekend — at least.

The Associated Press reported that Reynolds pleaded guilty later that month to criminal damaging (for smashing a cell phone and punching a hole in a wall) and disorderly conduct after lashing out during a visit to the home of his toddler son and ex-wife, who told police she didn’t want to press charges.

The former Ohio State player has not played an NFL game since, although his court case was not cited as the reason. The Titans waived Reynolds in July 2007 after previously placing him on injured reserve, and no other team picked him up. The Columbus Dispatch reported in 2008 that Reynolds had been suspended for one year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, with his agent adding then that Reynolds would likely retire.


Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)

In July 2012, wide receiver Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in DeSoto, Texas, CNN affiliate KDFW reported.

Bryant’s mother called DeSoto police, claiming she got into an argument with her son and that he had assaulted her. Bryant later turned himself in and was charged with Class A misdemeanor domestic violence.

The charge was dismissed in November 2012 on the condition that Bryant undergo anger counseling and that he not be charged with a crime for the next year, ESPN said.

Bryant denied any domestic violence.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Bryant said he would be “a crazy man” to put his hands on his mother, other than to defend himself, and that after she grabbed his arms, he used his hands to remove hers. The magazine, however, cited the police report, which said Bryant grabbed his mother by her T-shirt and hair, bruised her arms and “hit her across her face with his ball cap.”

The NFL didn’t suspend Bryant. It imposed a strict set of conduct guidelines on him, which included a curfew, counseling twice a week and no alcohol, ESPN reported.

In March 2013, Bryant made a surprise appearance at Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ “Men Against Abuse” rally. “I am done with domestic abuse,” he said at the public gathering.


Rod Smith (Denver Broncos)

In 2000, Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith was accused of beating his former live-in girlfriend by throwing her around, banging her head on the floor and choking her during an argument, the Denver Post reported. The girlfriend is also the mother of his two children.

Smith pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of verbal harassment just days before he was to stand trial on third-degree assault and harassment charges, the newspaper reported. A judge sentenced Smith to two years of probation and ordered him to undergo 36 weeks of domestic violence counseling and pay $1,000 in court costs.

The NFL didn’t suspend Smith but did impose a $25,000 conditional fine against him, which he wouldn’t have to pay if he adhered to his probation, the newspaper said.

At the time, Smith denied hitting his former girlfriend, and even before the NFL imposed the conditional fine, he said the league wouldn’t suspend him.

“It’d be different if I did what they originally said I did,” he told the Denver Post, referring to the original charge of domestic violence. “But all those charges were dropped. So I don’t see how they can even take that into account when she said it didn’t happen, under oath, and we have several documents stating that.”

*Original article published on CNN.


Every media channel this week has been filled with footage of the Ray Rice “scandal”. In response, domestic abuse survivors have been speaking out on Twitter using the hashtag #WhyIStayed & #WhyILeft to express why they found themselves staying in abusive relationships and how they found the strength to leave them.

In light of all that’s going on, I thought it was about time to reignite the discussion around why some men abuse women in the first place. Here are some of the most commonly alleged reasons why men abuse women:

  • It’s all they know – Statistics indicate that children who grow up in homes where violence is present are 100 times more likely to be abusers themselves*. Children exposed to family violence are more likely to develop social, emotional, psychological and or behavioral problems than those who are not. The trauma they experience can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances that effect their development and can continue into adulthood. Simply said, “Monkey see, monkey do.”
  • Ultimate Control – Who doesn’t enjoy having power? For some men, holding the power of life & death in their hands is the greatest sign of masculinity. It makes them feel superior. Dealing with so many variables in life that are beyond our control, some men may feel comfort in knowing that what happens within their own home is solely within their control.
  • Insecurity –Men who are jealous of outside relationships tend to have low self-esteem. They are extremely insecure and will do whatever it takes to isolate their victim from those that truly love & care for them.
  • Confusion – Sometimes when a woman stays in a domestically violent situation, it can send the signal that she’s “okay” with this behavior (even if she’s really not).
  • It’s the way they express their anger – Unfortunately not all men are well equipped to deal with their anger or frustrations. Most of us may argue, yell or scream to make our point, but some men take it to a whole different level. Not everyone has the same filter causing them to stop before inflicting harm or danger on other people
  • Addiction – For some men, hitting a woman can produce the same “high” that drugs, gambling or alcohol produces. Dopamine can involve loss of control, a negative change in behavior, an obsession or preoccupation without fear of consequences. In all of these cases there can be an increasing tolerance for the behavior. Both tend to get worse over time.

There are many manifestations of domestic abuse. Here are five ways** that a man can abuse a woman:

  1. Physical – Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury whether it on the face, body, hair-pulling, etc.
  2. Sexual – Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact without consent. Intimacy should always be mutual.
  3. Psychological – Isolating or attempting to isolate victims from friends, family, school, and/or work. This also includes verbal assaulting someone.
  4. Emotional – Undermining or attempting to undermine victim sense of worth. Putting someone down for the purposes of making
  5. Economic – Making or attempting to make the victim financially dependent on you & you only. When you take away a person’s resources, they are less likely to leave an abusive situation.

There’s no excuse WHATSOEVER for abuse. Whether it’s a man hitting a woman or a woman hitting a man, abuse has no place in any relationship. If you know someone (or even if it’s you), don’t be afraid or too embarrassed to get help. Call the National DV Hotline at 1-800-799- (SAFE) 7233.

If you have any insight into why men abuse their girlfriends/wives please share in the comments below. Let’s continue to make this a national conversation so that abuse is no longer tolerated.


Ray Rice


*Statistics from LoveOurChildrenUSA.org
**Information taken from Woodbridge

When Does A Man Hitting A Woman Ever Become Okay? Lessons Learned From Ray Rice

“…be sure not to ‘do anything to provoke’ violence from men”
– Stephen A. Smith

This was a partial quote taken from ESPN correspondent Stephen A. Smith on the topic of NFL running back Ray Rice & his recently discovered domestic violence involvement. A lot people, particularly women, took issue with what Smith said, believing that a woman can in no way “provoke” a man into committing acts of physical domestic abuse.

While this may sound good, it is not entirely true. Ray Rice’s wife, Janay, admitted that she did “provoke” him by hitting him first. The only difference is that when Ray finally hit her back, he hit a lot harder. She was knocked out cold (not directly from his hit, but from hitting her head on an inanimate object after being struck by him). While the authorities were called & action was taken, nothing really came out of it because there were “elements of provocation” meaning that both parties were somehow responsible for what happened.

I think that hitting a woman is absolutely wrong. I’m sure most would agree, however, I really don’t think a man has a right to put his hands on a woman even if she started it. I’m not saying that it’s okay for a woman to hit a man either, however, it doesn’t matter how many times she’s placed her hands on him, it is NEVER okay for a man to hit back. Why? Because men are naturally stronger so they automatically inflict more pain/damage. If a woman is being violent then she can be restrained (because to my point that the man is stronger), but a woman can’t restrain a man should he lose his cool.

Some believe that if a woman can keep hitting a man then at some point she should expect to get hit back. After all, if you dish it you should be able to take it, right? Wrong! I have the right, no the duty, to walk away. Men exercise some self-control & walk away from the situation because if you don’t 9 times out of 10 you’ll be going to jail, not her. You cannot blame your “temporary lapse in judgment” on the fact that you were hit first.

Let’s look at some domestic violence statistics:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

So now that we know how bad domestic violence can really get, what exactly should happen to men who hit women? Well I think it’s about personal accountability. We should all be responsible for the choices we make and the consequences they bring. Being provoked is not an excuse for being irresponsible for your own actions.

What type of message does this send to our young women? To our daughters? To our sisters? That it’s okay to stay with a man who hits you or drags you across the floor? Is it acceptable to be with a man who has a history of violent behavior? Or do you believe that people can change? If you love someone, their past doesn’t matter, or does it? Do I think Ray Rice’s wife should’ve stayed with him after all this? (They were engaged during the time of the melee, only to be married shortly thereafter) That’s a different topic, for a different day…..

If you know anyone who is involved in a domestic abuse situation, please get them some help. Contact: the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE). This line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, this line is a resource for safety information and can connect any caller with shelters and protection advocates in her area.