Stop Violence Against Women Week

Apr 27, 2007

Last week advocates from across the country visited Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress to emphasize the importance of fully funding domestic violence and sexual assault programs. The visits coordinated by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) were a part of Lifetime's annual Stop Violence Against Women Week.

NCADV and NAESV hosted a breakfast for staff, advocates and Members of Congress on April 18. Also during the week, Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) hosted its 10th anniversary event, with special guest Eve Ensler. A recipient of MCSR's Lifetime Ally Award, Ensler read from and signed her newest book, Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World.

Advocates signed petitions urging Congress to fully fund the Violence Against Women Act. To sign onto the petition, please visit

A Life Interrupted

Lifetime premiered A Life Interrupted, the story of advocate Debbie Smith on Monday, April 23. Smith led a quiet life until events on one horrific day turned her world upside down. Smith was raped in the woods behind her home while her husband, a police officer, slept upstairs. She then suffered through the dehumanizing rape-kit exam. Six years later, her rapist was identified through a chance DNA test.

Smith vowed to work so that women in similar situations did not have to endure the same agonizing wait for justice. A Life Interrupted is inspired by true events and follows Smith’s brave journey to reclaim her life and put thousands of rapists behind bars.

Smith’s tireless advocacy was largely responsible for passage of the Debbie Smith Act, contained in the Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act of 2003, which was signed into law on October 30, 2004. The Debbie Smith Act provides funding to process the backlog of DNA evidence and train Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners, prosecutors and law enforcement in using and gathering DNA evidence. It also establishes a national standard for the collection of DNA evidence. The Debbie Smith Act is now part of the Justice For All Act of 2004.

In the movie, Lea Thompson stars as Debbie Smith. More information on A Life Interrupted, which will be repeated several times, is available at

Celebrities Show Support

Pop music artist Christina Aguilera joined Lifetime's End Violence Against Women campaign by filming a public service announcement (PSA) that urges people to take action to end violence against women in their communities. Aguilera will show the PSA on JumboTrons during her “Back to Basics” concert tour. She has been personally affected by domestic violence, and her song "Oh Mother" salutes her mom's courage as a survivor. Members of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – wore a new scarf designed for Lifetime by Aguilera. To view Aguilera’s PSA, visit

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman also filmed a PSA for Lifetime Television to raise awareness about ending violence against women. The award-winning actress was appointed UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador in January 2006 and her efforts are designed to raise awareness about the infringement of women's human rights around the world. To view Kidman’s PSA, visit

Country music singer Martina McBride renewed her partnership with Lifetime's End Violence Against Women campaign by dedicating a single "Anyway," from her new album, Waking Up Laughing, to Debbie Smith and to rape survivors everywhere. McBride’s music is featured with scenes from A Life Interrupted and black-and-white images of sexual assault survivors in a powerful video tribute airing at the end of the film. To see excerpts from the video, visit

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