Barter Befriends Victims of Domestic Violence Year Round

Barter Befriends Victims of Domestic Violence Year Round

October is domestic violence month, but domestic violence does not end with Halloween. “On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year,” reports the National Violence Hotline.Recently domestic violence took a national stage when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell uttered indicated to the world that he “got it wrong.” Remorse flooded the tv screen for the manner in which the situation was handled – or mishandled – allegations that NFL football players Ray Rice and Adrian Petersen had committed domestic violence. Sadly, it took an NFL headline to draw attention to what is clearly an epidemic.

Ana Hawk, outspoken founder of, the fastest growing barter company in the world, has committed herself and her company to spread the message year round. “It is our intention that our regular posts on social media and elsewhere, will help educate and remind everyone – victims, perpetrators, would-be perpetrators and the public – that domestic violence is unacceptable and that there are places victims can go when every door to them seems closed.”

One of those places is the Red Paperclip Center, a nonprofit Center (address withheld) providing refuge for those in need of help. Take for example Sarah and her two children, Tony and Patty. Her husband hit her and the children saw it. She found the Center, but they needed new clothes and essentials after leaving everything behind. Tony and Patty also needed tutoring for school, counseling and healing.

“The Red Paperclip Center offered that young family a safe place to stay while they figured out what to do with their lives,” said Ana, whose Instant Barter formed the non-profit to provide a year-round safe haven for the victims. “Many times, Victims leave with the shirts on their backs. They don’t have a dime, but often have skills. Once families get settled in places like the Red Paperclip Center, they will need to get back on their feet. Everything they need, want or desire for life can be bartered, so we offer them hope and an actual, practical way to re-start their lives.”

Dr. Denise Brimmer, CEO of ACD Christian Business Design, an Instant Barter member, explained how the system can work for victims of domestic violence: “Battered women need to build their self-esteem and validate their valuable skills. As they heal, barter enables them to work and trade for things they need and want. One call to Ana, and life can truly change. They can even launch their own company, arising from such a low point and building a new life.”

Writing for from the nation’s capitol, journalists Alberto R. Gonzales and Ellen A. Black state: “Today, domestic violence affects approximately one in three women, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Women capture the primary focus of the domestic violence debate because they represent an overwhelming proportion of domestic abuse victims… [But] it strikes all races, ages, and socioeconomic groups. Perhaps not surprising, domestic violence touches all parts of the globe…”

Taking a whole month to aim the spotlight on domestic violence is a good thing. But for women like Ana Hawk and Dr. Brimmer, and places like the Red Paperclip Center, a year-round commitment has replaced that monthly, once-yearly recognition. And if enough of us were joining them, perhaps an October Domestic Violence month would no longer be necessary.

Thank you CNN IReport for such a wonderful story on us!!!