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Violence Against Women Emerging As Important 2006 Election Issue

— New Lifetime Pulse Poll, Conducted By Roper Poll, Reveals Violence Against Women Emerging As Important 2006 Election Issue For Both Women And Men http://www.lifetimetv.com/

— Launching National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Lifetime's New 2006 Campaign to "Stop Violence Against Women," Network Unites Advocates, Celebrities and Bipartisan Political Leaders in Nation's Capital for Special Week of Events, Including Actress Gabrielle Union Testifying About Her Experience

— "Desperate Housewives" Star, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Hosts Specially Themed Weekend of Anti-Violence Programming on Lifetime

According to a new "Lifetime Women's Pulse Poll," conducted for the network by Roper Poll, when women and men vote in the mid-term elections this fall, expected issues such as homeland security, jobs and the economy and the war in Iraq will be very important, but an issue that receives far less attention — preventing violence against women and girls — will be just as, if not more, important to them. This and other poll results demonstrating the growing prevalence and importance of the issue of gender violence come as Lifetime Television launches its 2006 public education and advocacy campaign, Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women.

The Emmy(r)-winning initiative commences with the Network's annual "Stop Violence Against Women Week" in Washington, DC, April 3-7 (complete schedule of events available) during which Lifetime joins with thousands of advocates, survivors, business and bipartisan political leaders and celebrities, such as Gabrielle Union ("Bad Boys 2" and "Deliver Us From Eva") and filmmaker, survivor and activist Angela Shelton, for special events to encourage greater attention for and increased action to address all forms of gender violence, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking.

In addition, throughout April, National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Lifetime Networks will offer powerful original programming and PSAs, including a special weekend of anti- violence-themed movies and series, hosted by "Desperate Housewives" star Ricardo Antonio Chavira and his real-life father, Family Court Judge Juan Antonio Chavira, and punctuated by the April 22nd television premiere of the documentary "Searching for Angela Shelton." The initiative also incorporates extensive online content, community outreach and legislative activity.

The "Lifetime Women's Pulse Poll" – "Lifetime Women's Pulse Poll" is the largest women's multi-platform research project ever undertaken by a television network, and throughout the year, explores a wide range of areas examining women's lives, from consumer behavior and spending habits, usage of new technologies, impressions of pop culture and positions on key public policy issues. Highlights of the new nationally representative pulse poll of women and men 18-plus on violence against women include:

— Violence Against Women Is Seen as Key Election Issue: Nearly all women (97 percent) feel that the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault against women and girls is important and will impact who they vote for in the 2006 mid-term elections.

— Violence Against Women of Equal or Greater Importance to Voters than Expected Top Issues Like Homeland Security, Jobs and the Economy, the War in Iraq and the Environment: Nearly eight out of ten (77 percent) women and men said that preventing violence against women was of paramount importance to them as an election issue – more so than or on par with issues that receive much greater attention such as jobs and the economy (79 percent), health care (79 percent), education (80 percent), homeland security (68 percent), the war in Iraq (65 percent) and the environment (63 percent).

— Violence Against Women Perceived as an Increasing Problem: Six out of ten (59 percent) Americans feel violence against women is worse today than it was ten years ago. Sixty-one percent personally know a woman who has been the victim of violence.

— Sexual Assault and Dating Violence on College Campuses a Bigger Fear than Binge Drinking or Hazing: Approximately nine out of ten (87 percent) Americans would encourage their daughter to reconsider enrolling in a school that had a high incidence of sexual assault or dating violence – even more than for binge drinking (77 percent) and hazing (74 percent).

— Celebrity Voices Make a Difference: Teri Hatcher, "Desperate Housewives" star, recently revealed she was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Seven in ten Americans (72 percent) think that such celebrity revelations do help reduce acceptance of violence against women.

— Americans Are Starting to Take Action: Three in four parents (73 percent) say they have explicitly talked to their children about violence against women being wrong. Among those who knew a friend or family member was being abused, an overwhelming 87 percent said to have intervened in some way to help the victim, including reaching out beyond their immediate circle to police (46 percent), local shelters (35 percent), the internet (28 percent) and hotlines (24 percent).

"As we head to Washington, D.C., for the fifth year-in-a-row, we are encouraged that this poll suggests that violence against women is top of mind and that women and men are taking action to stop it," said Meredith Wagner, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, Lifetime Entertainment Services. "Lifetime is proud to build on the incredible momentum of our partners who work on the front lines every day to ensure that these critical issues continue to be heard and addressed at every level."

Week in Washington – From April 3-7, Lifetime, advocates, political and business leaders and celebrities will join in Washington for the 5th annual "Stop Violence Against Women Week," which includes events such as:

— Premiere advance screening of Lifetime documentary, "Searching for Angela Shelton," at the Library of Congress with filmmaker and activist Angela Shelton, the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues and leading advocates. The film showcases Angela's journey across America to find women with her same name, and her discovery that more than half of the Angela Shelton's she met had been raped, abused or molested–and her hopeful and inspiring message of courage, strength and survival.

— Congressional Briefings focusing on the newly passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), improving the economic situation of domestic violence survivors and creating innovative programs to help survivors and victims of sexual assault, where actress/activist Gabrielle Union ("Bad Boys 2" and "Deliver Us From Eva") will testify about her sexual assault while in college.

Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women – Lifetime's Emmy(r)-winning campaign includes:

On-Air Programming

— "Desperate Housewives" star, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, and his real-life father, Family Court Judge Juan Antonio Chavira, lend their voices to the anti-violence movement on Saturday, April 22nd during a special programming weekend which will feature: original public service announcements; the powerful new documentary, "Searching for Angela Shelton"; an encore of Lifetime's groundbreaking miniseries, "Human Trafficking"; and thought-provoking movies and specially themed episodes of the Network's original dramas. The day is part of a special weekend of programming dedicated to the stop violence message.

— PSAs, emphasizing that women and men need to work together to prevent violence against women. PSAs will air throughout April and at the end of all dedicated anti-violence programming, directing viewers to life-saving resources from organizations such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE) and National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN (800-656- HOPE).

Online Resources

— Advice from experts and links to Lifetime's campaign partners.

— A map that will drive visitors to local resources and shelters.

— An "action center" where women and men, families, community members and employers can get involved and support efforts to stop violence against women in their own communities.

Community Outreach

In communities across the nation, Lifetime and its partners will:

— Distribute thousands of new brochures highlighting the message that violence against women is a community issue that affects all of us and, therefore, takes all of us — men and women, parents and siblings, educators and religious leaders, law enforcement and employers — to prevent, address and stop it.

— Encourage viewers to "wear their support" with specially created "Stop Violence Against Women" bandanas and (temporary) tattoos.

— Hold college campus special events, screenings and discussions of "Searching for Angela Shelton."

Legislative Advocacy

— Lifetime will continue to join with anti-violence advocates and bipartisan political leaders to push for the passage of legislation addressing prevention of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. Lifetime and its partners have already been instrumental in getting five pieces of legislation passed and signed into law to stop violence, including: the Violence Against Women Act 2005 (VAWA); the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA – H.R. 972); the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA); the Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act of 2004; and the Video Voyeurism Protection Act of 2004.

One Response

  1. It is so easy for a Disney/Hearst/NBC–Universal–operated TV channel to mount a campaign against violence against women. It is much harder for said channel to completely abandon all those misconceived TV calamity movies of the week which depict the violence in the first place. Of course, if they don’t want Time Out New York magazine to continue rewriting Lifetime’s slogan as “Victim Vision for Women,” well…

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