For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Emmy Award-winning journalist and talk show host Tamron Hall has partnered with The Purple Leash Project to help victims of abuse and their pets. Only 15% of domestic violence shelters in the United States allow pets, and nearly half of abuse victims will delay leaving their abuser if they can’t bring their pet with them to a shelter.
The Purple Leash Project, founded by Purina and RedRover, aims to make 25% of domestic violence shelters pet-friendly by 2025. Hall lost his sister to domestic violence in 2004 and recounts The root that being involved in initiatives like these helps her turn that pain into something that can help others:
“[The Purple Leash Project] gives me a direction, it gives me a North Star and a home. It helps me not to focus on the fact that [her sister’s death] is an unsolved crime. It helps me not to focus on the fact that I struggled for many, many years wondering if I could have said something different or if I could have done something different. So being able to have that conversation where it’s focused and where it’s about helping others keeps my mind from wandering into spaces that aren’t productive and aren’t healthy.
Hall adds that black women – 40% of whom will experience domestic violence in their lifetime – are frequently encouraged to tolerate abuse and bear their pain with pride. “But what consequences does this badge of honor bring to our lives?” she asked. Hall then explained:
“A big part of the conversation is that domestic violence is not a black, white, Latino, Asian or Indigenous issue. It is a social problem at all levels. However, there are nuanced conversations and conversations in the right context that we need to have as black people — and how we talk about violence against black women.
The journalist acknowledges that while the way we talk about and deal with domestic violence can improve, she knows the conversation has become more open:
“When I was growing up, I remember hearing so many times about police officers, for example, who dreaded taking domestic violence calls because they didn’t want to be trapped in the middle. When I was a kid, I remember hearing someone say, “That’s their business. You know, what happens at home stays at home, things like that. We hear [that] less and less but that doesn’t mean they still don’t exist.
The Purple Leash Project also opened Hall’s eyes to the reality of how pets can serve as support for survivors:
“I’ve covered hurricanes, I’ve covered storms where you see the footage, and I’ve spoken with people who say, ‘I don’t want to leave my pet, I don’t want to leave my pet. company” even though they’re in danger from Mother Nature. I had never heard the heartbreaking number of people who are slow to leave [their abusers] because they have nowhere to take their pet, [which are] their family members. Purina has now pledged that 25% of shelters in this country will be pet-friendly, which means someone has one less thing to worry about, one less thing to keep in that home.
Ultimately, Hall’s partnership is an ongoing effort to help survivors feel less alone. “For me, what we do is let people know that you are not alone and that we are thinking of you. We are thinking of your children, we are thinking of your pets, and nothing will be overlooked. »
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