A shove, a slap, a punch—it seems like it should be easy to recognize when someone you love is suffering from domestic abuse. In reality, the signs often aren't so obvious. Abuse is a system that runs on secrets. And that's probably why it's so alarming to hear how often it actually happens.
A woman is battered every nine seconds in the U.S., and women between the ages of 20-24 are at the highest risk of becoming victims. But DoSomething.org is living up to its name by helping the survivors.
This month, the organization joined with the Network to End Domestic Violence to launch its newest campaign, Cellphones for Survivors.
Running from now until November 21, the campaign is asking members of the public to donate their old, used cellphones, which will be refurbished, sold and turned into funds for domestic violence programs.
"I think one of the most common misconceptions about domestic abuse is that it's something that happens to old married people," says DoSomething's Alyssa Ruderman. "The truth is that one in three teens is the victim of relationship violence...that's part of what's so great about this campaign. It's young people taking action on what really is a young person's issue."
People who want to contribute simply sign up at Cellphones for Survivors. Once you've collected your old phones, send them off using a free shipping label, printable from the website.
For donors, there's an added incentive: Participants who submit pictures of their donations to the site are eligible to win a $4,000 scholarship.
But most importantly, for survivors, the campaign can ensure that they've got help and hope when they need it most.