Imagine…

a world where all people are safe in their homes and healthy in their relationships. In this world, help is available if things go wrong. In this world, individuals, families, and communities support each other and thrive. In this world, entire nations are richer, in all senses of the world. In this world, people transform old definitions of “real” men and women into an understanding of the real meaning and power of strength, love, and respect. In this world, all of us can reach our full potential.

Unfortunately…

  • 24 people per minute in the U.S. are victims of violence (rape, assault, stalking) by an intimate partner.

  • 3 U.S. women are killed every day by a male partner or former partner.

  • Nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner.

  • Worldwide, men exposed to domestic violence as children are 3 to 4 times more likely (than men not exposed) to grow up to perpetrate such violence.

  • 50 percent of Native American women and 30 percent of African American women have been raped, beaten, or stalked by an intimate partner. [DOJ]

  • 2 in 5 gay or bisexual men experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.

  • 70 percent of women worldwide experience physical/sexual abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

  • 41% of Latinos say that fear of deportation is the number one barrier preventing Latino victims from seeking help, followed by fear of more violence for themselves and their families (39%) and fear of children being taken away (39%). [NoMore.org]

  • 30 to 60 percent of domestic violence perpetrators also abuse children in the home.

  • 91% of employees say that domestic violence has a negative impact on their company’s bottom line. [National Domestic Violence Hotline]

Fortunately…

Domestic violence is coming out from behind closed doors. More and more, it is seen not as a private matter—someone else’s business—but as a public problem with severe impact on the health of individuals, families, neighborhoods, workplaces, and nations. And people are taking action to show it, to say “I want to break the cycle in my own family”—or “I want to live in a place where everyone is safe and respected.”

Now is the moment for culture change.

Today—because fans and allies made it their business—the NFL (along with NASCAR and others) can no longer ignore the issue of domestic violence in its ranks. Today, more and more, people understand that accountability for domestic violence lies with the person who commits it. Today, while there’s still no shortage of violence against women in pop culture, it’d be hard to imagine something like the Honeymooners’ “Pow! Right in the kisser!’ ever again being played for laughs.

We’re on it.

Since 2009, Breakthrough’s Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell) campaign has inspired millions of men and women across India and around the world literally to “ring the bell” to interrupt domestic violence behind closed doors…or, figuratively, to take concrete action to say no more: not in my house, not on the street, not in my community, not in my country. These acts of compassion, courage, and accountability not only defuse violence in the moment but also drive needed change in the culture, making domestic violence unacceptable and safety and respect the order of the day. WATCH BELOW to see what happened when Karalyn rang the bell—and think about the change you could make when you do, too.

Karalyn Rings the Bell

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