Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
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DV Program

Use Media to Change the World
Media Training and Promotion for Domestic Violence experts

A project of the Woodhull Institute’s Fellows Program

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.
  • Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.
  • On average, more than three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
  • Domestic violence is one of the most chronically under reported crimes.
  • Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.

From the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The current female population of the United States 157,613,499 based on the estimated statistics as listed above that means that approximately 39,000,000 women going to be victims of domestic violence and besides the famous of sensational stories – the media is ignoring this epidemic.

Why is the epidemic so invisible and the public so apathetic? Part of the reason is that when the real experts on domestic violence– domestic violence direct service workers and domestic violence survivors–  aren’t trained in effective media skills, women’s stories aren’t told, actual statistics and real prevention strategies don’t get out to the public nearly enough, and the issue is ignored.

Statistics on women and media:

  • 14% of all guest appearances on the influential Sunday television talk shows; among repeat guests, only 7% are women
  • 15% of the authors on the The New York Times best seller list for nonfiction
  • 20% of op-eds in America’s newspapers are by women.
  • The New York Review of Books has 462 male bylines to 79 female, about a 6-to-1 ratio.
  • The New Republic has 32 women to 160 men.
  • The Atlantic published 154 male bylines and 55 female.
  • The New Yorker reviewed 36 books by men and 9 by women.
  • Harper’s reviewed more than twice as many books by men as by women.
  • The New York Times Book Review had 1.5 men to 1 woman (438 compared to 295) and an authors-reviewed ratio of 1.9 to 1 (524 compared to 283).

This is a unique point in history. The social media revolution is changing the world. Women can’t afford to be left out.

If domestic violence workers and survivors are not trained to enter the debate then it is not surprising that an open dialogue is not taking place and that government and educational outlets are not as effective as they could be in domestic violence prosecutions or preventions.

Woodhull’s DV Program

The Woodhull Institute’s proven curriculum trains women to use the media to effectively in order to fight this epidemic. Woodhull’s workshops include:

  • Effective Use of Social Media (includes blogging, Facebook, and Twitter)
  • How to Write a Press Release
  • Op-Ed Writing and Publishing
  • Feature Magazine Writing
  • Talk Radio Debate
  • Television Debate
  • Non-Fiction Book Proposals: How to Write and Sell
  • How to Pitch Editors and Producers
  • Ethics and Media
  • How to Speak to Reporters

Graduates of Woodhull’s writers and media trainings have published books including:

Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life
Fat Envelope Fenzy
Food: The Good Girl’s Drug: How to Stop Using Food to Control Your Feelings
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking
Sisterhood Interrupted. From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild

Project Rebirth: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors

Articles and op-eds have appeared in:

  • Ms Magazine
  • The Washington Post
  • The Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • Huffington Post
  • Wiretap
  • The Denver Post
  • Women’s e-news
  • New York Times
  • Glamour
  • Bitch
  • Salon.com
  • Bust
  • WE Magazine
  • Cosmopolitan
  • DivineCaroline


Woodhull’s faculty varies depending on availability of staff.

Barbara Victor

Barbara Victor is author of Getting Away with Murder – Weapons for The War Against Domestic Violence. She is is a journalist who has covered the Middle East for most of her career. She worked for CBS television for fifteen years, has worked at U.S. News and World Report, Elle,Femme and Madame Figaro. She was the first person to interview Moammar Ghadaffi after the American bombing of Libya in 1986, and has interviewed many major political figures in the U.S. and the Middle East. Barbara is the author of five novels and seven non-fiction books. She lives in New York City and in Ancram, New York with her husband.

Kristen Kemp

Kristen Kemp is the author of Redemption – The story of Stacey Lannert who on July 4, 1990, at the age of eighteen shot and killed her father, who had been sexually abusing her since she was eight. Missouri state law, a disbelieving prosecutor, and Stacey’s own fragile psyche conspired against her: She was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.

Margot Magowan

Margot Magowan is a writer and commentator. Her articles on politics and culture have been in Salon, Glamour, the San Francisco Chronicle and numerous other newspapers. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Crossfire, Fox News and other TV and radio programs. She produced a top rated program for KGO Radio, the ABC affiliate in the Bay Area. She is currently working on a novel about marriage. She lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.

Deborah Siegel, PhD

Deborah Siegel, PhD, is an expert on gender, politics, and the unfinished business of feminism across generations. She is the author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild, co-editor of the literary anthology Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo, and co-founder of the webjournal The Scholar & Feminist Online. Deborah’s writings on women’s lives, feminism, masculinity, contemporary families, sex, and popular culture have appeared in venues including The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, More, Psychology Today, The Progressive, and The Mothers Movement Online. A Fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership and a Board Member of the Council on Contemporary Families, she is a frequent media commentator and lectures at campuses and conferences nationwide. She is a Founding Partner of She Writes (www.shewrites.com), the leading online destination for women writers today.

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