VB Gives Back
#VBGIVESBACK: La'Porsha Renae
October 1, 2017
We are honored to support The National Domestic Violence Hotline as part of our ongoing #VBGIVESBACK program and will be donating $10 of every VeronicaBeard.com order in October to the cause.
La’Porsha Renae was 22-years-old the first time she called the National Domestic Violence Hotline. In an abusive relationship and with a new baby at home, she reached out to get much-needed support, advice, and access to resources so she could safely leave the relationship. While spending time living in a shelter, La’Porsha’s life changed dramatically when she auditioned for American Idol and got a call back, eventually making it to the final round of her season in 2016. Her time on American Idol and the support from her fans helped her to share her story and encourage others dealing with domestic violence to utilize The Hotline for help. We are honored to support The Hotline and share La’Porsha’s story for this month’s #VBGIVESBACK partnership.
What is the mission of the National Domestic Violence Hotline?
The mission is to answer the call to support and shift power back to those affected by relationship abuse.
How many calls/texts/chats does the hotline get each year?
The Hotline and loveisrespect, its youth-focused project, receives hundreds of thousands of contacts a year from people across the country and in the U.S. territories. In 2016, The Hotline received 464,060 calls, chats and text messages. Of those, 140,391 went unanswered because of a lack of resources.
How were you introduced to The Hotline?
I was given an information booklet by police when I turned my ex-husband in for trying to kill me. I made my first call as soon as I got home because I knew that he would probably make bail, so I wanted help to get away right away.
La'Porsha and her daughter on American Idol.
What types of services and support is provided through the hotline?
At The Hotline and loveisrespect, callers, chatters and texters are met where they are in their relationship. The Hotline’s advocates provide crisis intervention, safety planning and education on domestic violence and healthy relationships. They are highly trained to provide individualized support, understand each contact’s unique situation, help them identify next steps and directly connect them to immediate sources of help in the closest proximity to where they are located.
Why is it important for you to share your story?
Victims tend to feel alone or like they're at the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes it seems that no one else knows what you're going through. Sometimes people just need to witness a person successfully making it out of that situation to gain courage for themselves.
How did your time on American Idol help you heal from your abuse?
God's gift to me was my singing and my daughter. I wasn't allowed to sing with my ex-husband, so I sang to the top of my lungs in front of the world as a reclaiming of my gift from God that my ex tried to take away from me. I confronted my ex-husband through the television with the song “No More Drama.” I was finally on my way to being free.
What are the red flags of domestic violence?
Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing that most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner may do different types of things to maintain power and control over their partner. Some of the signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship include a partner who:
- Controls who you see, where you go, what you do;
- Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs;
- Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away;
- Controls the finances in your relationship;
- Demands your social media passwords or controls who you can be friends with online; or
- Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
What is your advice to those in an abusive situation?
GET OUT NOW!! Realize that God didn't make your purpose in this life to be someone's punching bag with fists or words. He made you beautiful and strong and to be truly loved and respected by men. When a woman unlocks her FULL potential as a woman of God…she's the most dangerous, beautiful, and strong creature ever to walk the earth.
What type of training do advocates who are answering the hotline calls, texts and chats receive?
Advocates receive 60 hours of training on topics that include understanding the intersection of domestic violence and culture; safety planning; and working with abusive contacts. New advocates are paired with seasoned advocates for mentoring and shadowing. Finally, the advocates participate in ongoing in-service training and education sessions.
What does it cost to answer one call?
It costs $20 to answer one phone call at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and that one call can be life-changing. That one call could be the first time someone reaches out for help. One call could lead to a life free from abuse.
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