Every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten. It’s the leading cause of injury to women. Getting young women out of abusive relationships can be a struggle. That’s where Love Is Respect comes in. It’s the nation’s only text-for-help line.
“Never in my life did I think I’d see the fist come straight at me,” said survivor Jessica Garza in an interview with Nightcap on January 12th. “I lost my baby because I stood in his way and didn’t let him leave when he wanted to leave. So, in his eyes, it’s my fault.”
That was the first time Garza spoke publicly about her abuse. It helped her find her voice, and she hasn’t stopped speaking out since. She’s become something of a local advocate for women who are victims of domestic abuse.
“I hope that other women hear my voice and they find that strength,” said Garza. “They call this a silent epidemic. It’s silent for a reason. Unfortunately women like myself are too ashamed or scared to talk about it.”
“It’s a bubble, that bubble of abuse. We think no one can help us. That no one is going to understand and where are we gonna go.”
“When you’re in that bubble, you think there is not help, that there are no resources.”
Thanks to a new resource, Love Is Respect, women are getting that help in a way that seems… almost obvious.
“Love Is Respect is a text-based hotline,” explained Sara Friedman of Mary Kay. “Without having to say anything aloud, you can be having a text-based conversation that you can delete. You can get the help you need in a very safe way.
“It’s something that your abuser doesn’t have to know you’re doing,” said Garza.
Dallas-based Mary Kay is the lead sponsor of Love is Respect.
“We felt we needed to fill that void. The nation hadn’t had a text-based help line before,” said Friedman.
“The great thing about the texting is it’s 24 hours, 7 days a week. So, it’s instant. If I would have known about that…” said Garza. “If I had known that it would have been easy, I would have reached out much faster.”