Scam: Using Domestic Violence Survivors

Readers- please pass this information on – contact and ask everyone you know to contact National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and demand to know why they are not responding to victims and demand an accounting. Perhaps we should be asking for an investigation?  What better person should have at least gotten some kind of a reply than the brave woman pictured below who sent in her pictures and asked only for a tooth repair – I assume so she could eat properly ? ~ Bettyjean

This post is courtesy of domestic violence survivor and Survivors In Action volunteer and domestic violence advocate, Maria Phelps

scarAbout a month ago I referred a domestic violence victim to a program I believed in, The Cosmetic and Reconstructive Support Program. This program was started by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and supports surgeries for women scarred by abuse. This program is for survivors of domestic violence and every year many donate to this program, thinking that it’s reaching victims of this brutal crime. Last October I was in contact with one of the Coalition’s representatives, Holly Barret. I informed her and the Coalition about my efforts in raising money throughout my community for their program and they were delighted. We spoke on the telephone, through email, and we were constantly in touch. A few months later, I mailed the Coalition a check, a check for this program I supported and they were thrilled with my work, they even sent me a sterling pin to say thank you. Throughout the following months I sent emails to this woman and left messages, I had questions about the Coalition I needed answered, I needed their support. They never returned my phone calls or my emails. I continued, no response. They did send me something in the mail, a form to fill out for donations. I even had questions about that, about the donations, and they never got back to me.

One month ago I referred a victim who has suffered through horrific acts of domestic violence to this very scar3program, the same program I raised money for in many communities. This woman is a survivor who has serious dental problems and scarring on her face due to domestic abuse, what better candidate for this program? So, I sent an email out to my Coalition contact, the same person I sent money to, and let her know that this woman would be in touch and is in need of help. I gave the survivor the contact information and the website, thinking the Coalition would be in contact with her immediately…that is their job, to help victims. Tonight this woman has emailed me back, with graphic photos.

Here is her email:

“I am waiting for the form to fill it out and send it. I didn’t receive any kind of response from the person that you suggested to contact, but I already requested the applications. I will include some pictures of me so that you can see some of my situation. As you can see the injuries are a lot but I will just ask for repair on my teeth and if possible my face. I feel really embarrassed to show you these pictures of me but I know you will not judge me and will understand, some people don’t.”

I have to express my opinions here, and I hope the Coalition finds this post in the future, I am appalled at the lack of response from this large “non-profit” organization. I was insulted myself, after giving money to this organization and being ignored shortly after that, but this has completely shocked and disgusted me. To ignore a victim in need, and, at the same time, claim to assist domestic violence victims is something that doesn’t make any sense to me, or the organization I am involved with (SIA) . The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has disappointed me in the past, wasting time on considering changing the domestic violence awareness month, but this is shameful. I passed along a victim in need of surgery to the exact program I raised money for, all to find that the Coalition does not respond to this woman in need of dental surgery and facial reconstruction. That’s two victims of violence the Coalition has ignored this year, not counting all the other women I don’t know about, and that’s inexcusable.

By Maria Phelps.

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24 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting this Betty. This is a shame, and if the NCADV reaches out to me or this woman, I will let you know, and inform everyone…in the meantime I won’t count on it. Survivors in Action and I will be starting to raise money for the victim’s much needed surgeries, Project Lily. Please visit my site in the future for more information on how you or your readers can donate to this fund. Thank you.

    http://www.4survivors.blogspot.com

  2. I am moved by survivors ordeal but confess I am flummoxed as well.

    It’s hard to believe that they would not allow her to press charges.

    decent source in general:

    http://www.womenslaw.org/gethelp_state.php?state_code=WA

    • Believe me – laws on the record are not always followed. They left her in a hospital for months while he went out and hurt another woman. Why are four women a day killed? Why did NC pay a woman a million bucks ? Because the police let a man out of jail and refused to come to the house when they called over and over and over again and he finally near killed her and did kill her daughter. It took that much.

      She will be my guest one night – ask her – the police station was right across the street from her fucken house !

      BettyJean Kling M.S, M. Ed Founder: The Majority United Free-US-Now.com FreeMeNow.wordpress The Majority United Radio Founder: Free US Now- “A victim’s first scream is for help; a victim’s second scream is for justice.” – Coral Anika Theill

  3. Here is the email I sent to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

    Dear NCADV,

    I am writing to ask why there has been no response to the severely injured woman who was referred to your Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery program by Survivors in Action volunteer Maria Phelps. The woman has many injuries and is badly scarred but is only asking for help repairing her teeth and possibly her face. Your website touts your Give Back a Smile (GBAS) program, which would seem to apply here. Neither Ms. Phelps, who has supported your organization both publicly and financially, nor the woman referred by her has received a response from you.

    Thank you for any information you can give.

    Tess

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Their email address is mainoffice@ncadv.org. Please write to them also!

    • Thank you very much – this letter is a perfect example of all it takes to get the ball rolling – thanks you so much for doing this !

      BettyJean Kling M.S, M. Ed Founder: The Majority United Free-US-Now.com FreeMeNow.wordpress The Majority United Radio Founder: Free US Now- “A victim’s first scream is for help; a victim’s second scream is for justice.” – Coral Anika Theill

  4. Well after emails from our supporters, the NCADV has finally responded to me!! after they read negative details about themselves, and not to my surprise, they responded to me very quickly after hearing about all of this. If you want to view the letter from the NCADV, please visit my site, http://www.4survivors.blogspot.com

    One last thing, she did not even know the victim’s name, and that was after I emailed it to her the first time and after the victim emailed her too. What does this say? Only concerned with reputation I think. They should be this quick to respond to a victim in need rather than promptly responding to a blog post about themselves.

  5. Here is the email response I received from the Development Director of NCADV:

    Hello Tess,

    Thank you so much for writing on behalf of both Maria, and her friend whom
    she blogged about on Monday. I am always so happy to see strong women like
    you taking charge and being a true advocate.

    I wrote to Maria yesterday and apologized to her for any neglect she
    experienced. We were indeed exceedingly appreciative of the donation drive
    she organized in her community for us this spring.

    She wrote to me a few times, following various letters and email alerts she
    received from us and I always responded with either information requested,
    or suggestions of other resources. Unfortunately, her requests were not
    usually for tasks which this organization is able to respond to. I believe
    her discontent came not from our lack of response, but rather because we
    were unable to do what she wanted us to do.

    NCADV does not have the resources to lobby state legislators. We are a very
    small organization (we only have 10 staff members) and we are only able to
    work on a Federal level. We do have good connections in each state, whose
    contact information I gave to her when asked, and we support state programs
    who work with local constituents to lobby their state legislators for
    changes to policy affecting domestic violence victims.

    Regarding her friend who hasn’t gotten help from the Cosmetic Reconstructive
    Surgery program, we have since done some further research and discovered
    that her application is still under review.

    NCADV does not have the final say in choosing who ultimately receives
    services; the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has the final decision,
    we are only the facilitators of applications. Unfortunately, not everyone
    who applies is accepted. And to further complicate the process, depending on
    where she is located and what dentists are available, she may have to wait
    for a longer period of time before being accepted.

    I hope this clears up any confusion. I would hate anyone to think that we
    are not 100% committed to helping victims of domestic abuse. Again, we are a
    very small organization and we simply don’t have the resources to be
    everything we’d like to be; however, we pride ourselves on what we do and we
    believe that the help we can provide will change lives for the better.

    Please let me know what I can do to further help you in your own quest to
    help survivors. I look forward to hearing back from you!

    Holly Barrett
    Development Director
    303.839.1852 x103

  6. In response to this letter, it is not that the NCADV did not do what I wanted them to do, this is ridiculous. When my emails got more complicated(meaning I had questions other than “how can I donate money?”), they either did not respond or forwarded my emails to people who did not respond. In this case, which is the point, they did not respond to my email about this victim, and they did not respond to the victim when she emailed them the first time. As far as receiving state contacts, I do not have any of those. I’m a bit confused. Currently, this victim is being helped by the NCADV, and I am glad for that and I hope they give her the help she deserves. And I am glad the NCADV has taken all this time to respond to blog posts.

  7. If any one would like to share their domestic violence story or if you would like to give advice and support.. please go to
    http://violentman.com/community

  8. [...] Project Lily update, thanks to Survivors In Action volunteer Maria DiBari Lily to receive reconstructive surgery!By Alexis on July 16, 2010 in Uncategorized Digg DiggUpdate on Project Lily: [...]

  9. [...] services offered women are simply denied. Lily Morales contacted the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – one of the most heavily funded [...]

  10. [...] services offered women are simply denied. Lily Morales contacted the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – one of the most heavily funded [...]

  11. [...] services offered women are simply denied. Lily Morales contacted the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – one of the most heavily funded [...]

  12. [...] yet to find a pro-bono attorney to take her case. Often services offered women are simply denied. Lily Morales contacted the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – one of the most heavily funded [...]

  13. [...] Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the national domestic violence agencies including NNEDV, NCADV , domestic violence hotlines,National Stalking Resource Center and the local shelters throughout [...]

  14. [...] Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the national domestic violence agencies including NNEDV, NCADV , domestic violence hotlines,National Stalking Resource Center and the local shelters throughout [...]

  15. [...] Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the national domestic violence agencies including NNEDV, NCADV , domestic violence hotlines,National Stalking Resource Center and the local shelters throughout [...]

  16. [...] Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the national domestic violence agencies including NNEDV, NCADV , domestic violence hotlines, National Stalking Resource Center, and the local shelters throughout [...]

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