“Lifetime Television is promoting domestic violence awareness in its programming and public service campaigns, and we thank you for that. Part of making sure that we help save lives is to educate people.” — President George W. Bush
One in three women worldwide has been beaten or sexually abused in her life. Every two minutes, someone in America is sexually assaulted. Violence against women knows no borders, crossing geographic, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines. It is not a “women’s issue;” it affects everyone.
Now in its fourth year, Lifetime Television’s “Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women” campaign is dedicated to using the power of the media to raise awareness of these vast problems of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
It also aims to offer lifesaving information and support, to promote passage of progressive national legislation and to encourage both women and men to work together to stop the violence.
In 2004, Lifetime and its partners made tremendous progress. Lifetime’s efforts included community outreach, online content and on-air programming, including the Emmy Award-winning documentary Until the Violence Stops, specially-themed episodes of its acclaimed dramas and an original public service announcement campaign.
These tremendous initiatives elevated community awareness about gender violence and provided help and support for victims and families.
Lifetime also formed a new collaboration with brother-network ESPN and distributed hundreds of thousands of educational brochures across the country. With the help of celebrity activists including Meryl Streep, Marisa Tomei, Ashanti, Missy Elliot, Michael Bolton, Martina McBride and Rosanna Arquette and sports figures like Joe Torre, Tiki Barber and Don McPherson, the Network further emphasized that women and men must work together to stop violence against women.
Lifetime brought the campaign to Washington for a special “Stop Violence Against Women Week.”
This effort included a series of events such as a Congressional hearing, a State Department meeting on sex trafficking and a star-studded event honoring women and men “Champions for Change,” and the release of the first-ever Congressional report analyzing how the nation has addressed violence against women in the past decade.
Lifetime also celebrated two legislative victories.
After more than two years of Lifetime’s intense lobbying efforts with its nonprofit partners, fueled in large part by more than 110,000 signatures on the Lifetime online petition, a bi-partisan bill passed Congress and was signed into law by the president that will eliminate the vast backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rape and murder cases and put nearly 70,000 rapists in jail.
In addition, Congress and the White House approved a new law inspired by Lifetime’s Original Movie, Video Voyeur: the Susan Wilson Story, which takes the first important step in making video voyeurism a serious crime.
One nonprofit partner, Sheryl Cates, head of The National Domestic Violence Hotline, said about Lifetime’s efforts: “Lifetime is a model media and advocacy partner in this effort, utilizing its immense ability to reach and inform women and men across the nation to save lives, heighten public awareness on the tragedy of domestic violence and connect survivors of domestic violence to resources for help.”