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SummitMedia Hawaii is raising money for the Domestic Violence Action Center.  Unfortunately, domestic violence cases are on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As our community is being asked to “Stay at Home,” many island family members continue to be abused behind closed doors.  Everyone in our community deserves to be safe and free from violence in their homes and relationships; with the freedom to make positive choices about their lives and the opportunity for economic well-being.

The Domestic Violence Action Center is committed to ending domestic violence and other forms of abuse through leadership, prevention, legal services, individual and systemic advocacy and social change work.  All persons should be treated with equality, dignity and fairness. With high quality and culturally sensitive programs delivered with integrity and compassion, DVAC is creating safety and self-sufficiency for survivors and their children.


How can your donation help? Your donations will support fees for specialized DVAC services. Even a $2 donation of ✌ peace ✌ can make a difference!


Services for Safety

  • Helpline – $31 – Caller speaks confidentially to a DV specialist; calls accepted statewide
  • Safety Plan – $36 – Plan for survivor and children to remain safe under changing conditions
  • Expo – $113 – On-site court assistance for victims seeking a restraining order
  • Brief Services – $164 – Consultation with an attorney about circumstances facing survivors
  • Teen Alert Program Presentation – $361 – Statewide classroom and community presentations on relationship violence and healthy relationships
  • Temporary Restraining Order- $1,649 – Attorney representation to obtain a court order with conditions for safety
  • Advocacy – $1,799 – Long-term system advocacy&support on the journey to safety
  • Divorce – $2,837 – Full Legal representation by staff attorney


Everyone can help during these unprecedented times.  “There is help, and there is hope.”  SummitMedia Hawaii thanks everyone for aiding us in our cause.



Myth #1

“Domestic violence happens in low-income families, or people with substance abuse problems, or only to people who grew up in a violent family.”

The truth is our middle and upper income families may be suffering as well. Their secrets are better kept, and the shame and embarrassment is so great it silences victims from coming forward.

If the general belief is that this thing only happens to poor victims, minority people, substance abusers, how can a wealthier person admit this is happening in their own families, or those they know? The stakes are high and the risks are great for people with public profiles and economic resources.

Myth #2

“It couldn’t be that bad, if the couple stays together or the victims returns to the abusive partner.  In short, you often hear, “Why does she stay with him?”

Why doesn’t the abused person act, report the abuse, leave the abusive situation?  Fear, fear of the unknown, fear of retribution, all kinds of fear will immobilize an abused person.

Leaving is statistically the time of greatest danger. The threats abused persons have heard from abusers are enough to keep them uncertain.  Will they be in worse danger? Will they be hurt again – or more.  Will they lose their children?  Will they be penniless, homeless, and dependent on the charity or good will of others?

Will they be SHAMED?  The SHAME of admitting we are not the capable, talented people who we want people to think we are. The SHAME of not being happy in our own families and homes.

Myth #3

“Why do you only help women?”

We at the Domestic Violence Action Center do take male clients.  We help anyone and everyone that have been assessed as the victim in an intimate partner relationship. Although there are certainly cases of men abused by women and men abused by other men, the overwhelming majority of cases are of women abused by the men.

There are many forms of abuse that create risk and danger in love relationships. Physical violence, verbal abuse, psychological tactics-including intimidation and degrading someone, and sexual assault, are the most obvious ways one person in a relationship establishes power over their partner. The abuse is intended to maintain control and limits the ability of the victim to make personal choices, have access to family resources or assets, or have self-determination.



Intimate partner abuse is not the same in every relationship. Some abusers are frequently violent, others may resort to physical violence from time to time to assert their power. The fear that a victim lives with makes it difficult for her (victims are most often female, but not always) to confide in friends or family, because the retaliation may result in more danger.



People do not use violence or become abusive because they are under stress, or experiencing financial problems, using drugs or drinking too much. Of course, these factors may make the situation worse, but it is not a cause of abuse.


In our community, and in most cultures, we have values and social norms that expect or permit men to be in control (particularly their family); this control creates an imbalance of power in the relationship. The messages we give to our children (and learn ourselves) about masculinity and femininity make us believe that men have a right to be dominant over their partner, and can do whatever is necessary to get their partner to do what they want them to do, or behave the way they believe they should behave.



Domestic violence is a crime in Hawaii. If you are hurting the people that you love, you must understand that domestic violence is against the law and if you commit this crime you can be arrested.  Only you can stop the violence and there are services in our community that can help you find the courage to stop the harm that you are creating in your intimate partnerships.



Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence.  Victims and perpetrators of domestic violence come from all walks of life.  They can be educated, practice a religion, have a well paying job, be unemployed, use drugs and drink alcohol, or be survivors of childhood abuse.



If you are a victim of domestic violence, we can assist you in figuring out courses of action that you may consider taking now or in the future.  Our services are focused on helping you to become safe and free from the violence that you are now experiencing at the hands of your loved one.   Please know that you are not alone and it is not your fault. At the Domestic Violence Action Center we offer you confidential and non-judgmental services.

Like adult domestic violence, teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling behavior, in which one partner attempts to assert their power through physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, and sexual abuse. This will often be coupled by instances of jealousy, coercion, manipulation, possessiveness and an overall threatening demeanor, many times increasing in severity as the relationship continues. Dating violence can affect people from all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, and occurs in heterosexual, gay, and lesbian relationships.


When assessing whether one’s partner is potentially abusive, some early signs to watch out for include: extreme jealousy and controlling behavior; explosive anger; isolating the partner from family and friends; tendency to blame others; and becomes verbally or mentally abusive.


It is also a common belief amongst teens that physical violence is the only type of abuse in a dating relationship. And while physical abuse can leave behind evidence such as cuts, bruises, broken bones, and more, it is important to remember that emotional, verbal and psychological abuse can be just as damaging, if not more. That’s because as the abuse continues, the victim begins to believe that they are at fault and are deserving of the abuse perpetrated upon them. Therefore, it is imperative for teens to remember that abuse is a cycle, and will usually escalate as the relationship continues.


In teenage dating relationships, there may be preconceived notions of gender roles. For example, very often young men are taught that they need to be in control of their partner; to “wear the pants” in the relationship. This may sometimes play out through a heightened state of aggression and possessiveness. At the same time, however, they’re lacking in support and empathy for their partner, as it may be perceived as a sign of weakness.


On the other hand, young women may believe that jealousy and possessiveness are signs of love or romance, and may therefore seek out partners with controlling tendencies. They may feel responsible for “fixing” their partners, and choose to stay in a relationship that is unhealthy or even abusive.


One of the most common aspects of teen dating violence that distinguishes it from adult domestic violence is the occurrence of isolation. In teenage relationships, teens will often have grandiose ideas about love and romance, being less experienced than adults. As the relationship grows, they choose to spend the majority of time with their partner, becoming more and more isolated from others in their life. And while this is not abusive in and of itself, it may become problematic as the relationship continues. Especially with abusive relationships, the isolation escalates to include every other aspect of life, including friends, family, hobbies, work, school, etc., until they are essentially cut off from anyone other than their dating partner.


Abuse in a dating relationship can be confusing and frightening at any age. But for teenagers, who are just beginning to date and develop romantic relationships, this abuse can be especially difficult. Therefore, when offering help to a teenage victim, it is important that they view you as an ally, someone they can trust and turn to when seeking support. Although there will be feelings of frustration if the teen chooses to stay with his/her abusive partner, remember to remain understanding and sympathetic of their situation, as you may be the one person they still trust.


Please also visit our Teen Alert Program website for more information.

Find a safe place:  It is not fair that you leave your home because of what your abuser has done.  However, sometimes, it is the only way you may be safe.  Stay with a trusted friend or go to a shelter. Call our Helpline.  There are ways we can explore with you on finding a safe place.

Call the police: At any time you feel in danger, call 911.  DVAC may be able to provide you with a cell phone that is programmed to only call 911.

Consider the following:

  • File a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and if the abuser has a kick out order:
  • Change your locks and phone number
  • Change your work hours and routine
  • Change your route to work, children’s school etc.
  • Keep a copy of your TRO and/or protective order
  • Inform neighbors, work security of your protective order
  • Give your work, school a photo of your abuser
  • Register at VINELINK
  • Carry a charged phone pre-programmed to call 911

Get support from friends and family: Tell your supportive family, friends and co-workers what has happened.

Get medical help: Seek medical attention by contacting your doctor or going to the hospital if you have been hurt. Sometimes you may not even know you are hurt.  What seems like a small injury could be a big one.  If you are pregnant and were hit in the stomach, tell your doctor.  Domestic violence victims can be in danger of closed head injuries. This is because their abusers often hit them in their heads.  Of you experience memory loss, dizziness, problems with eyesight, throwing up, headaches, get medical care right away.

Medical records can be very important especially in court cases.  Give all the information about your injuries and who hurt you that you feel safe to give.

Where to donate?

Visit our Facebook page to donate and support to the Domestic Violence Action Center or Click the Link below.


Everyone can help during these unprecedented times.  “There is help, and there is hope.”  SummitMedia Hawaii thanks everyone for aiding us in our cause.


About Domestic Violence Action Center

Visit the Domestic Violence Action Center website.

Mission Statement

The Domestic Violence Action Center is committed to addressing domestic violence and other forms of harm through leadership, unique services, legal representation, survivor and system advocacy, community education and social change work.


We believe all persons should be treated with equality, dignity and fairness. With high quality and culturally sensitive programs, delivered with integrity and compassion we are creating safety and self-sufficiency for survivors and their children.

Agency Profile

The Domestic Violence Action Center is dedicated to alleviating the problem of domestic abuse in Hawaii.  We are the only agency in the State that accepts large numbers of high-risk divorce, temporary restraining order, post-decree, and paternity cases.  We are also the only agency in the community with a full complement of services to assist as a victim navigates the system and moves her (his) life to freedom and self-sufficiency.  With advocates accompanying victims to court, seeking financial support, pursuing educational goals, obtaining child support, or maneuvering the military, medical or mental health systems a victim is empowered and closer to safety if she is working with one of our programs.


Domestic Violence Action Center was founded in 1990 and incorporated in 1991.  With two staff, in the beginning, we are now fully staffed at 52.  Training and education, technical assistance and community building, direct services and public awareness are among the commitments the agency makes to the people of Hawaii.


The Domestic Violence Action Center staff is deeply involved at the community level and participate in working committees coordinated by government agencies such as the Department of the Attorney General, The Department of Education and The First Judicial Circuit.  We also work collaboratively with local associations and agencies like The Hawaii State Bar Association, The Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Women’s Fund, and Hawaii Women Lawyers.


Our work has become known across the country and our management staff participates frequently in initiatives related to post-traumatic stress disorder, needs of multi-ethnic communities, family practice issues, and cutting-edge challenges facing domestic violence programs and survivors.


The agency has three departments overseeing direct services, specialized programs, and administration.  We provide outreach in civil and criminal court, accept referrals from many community programs and public agencies, and seek opportunities to let the community become better acquainted with our special services provided by expert staff intimately trained on the needs and challenges facing victims of abuse.  Our target population includes youth, immigrants, Filipina and adult victims.


The cost for our legal services is based on a sliding fee scale with hourly costs assessed for those in a higher income bracket.  Training and technical assistance are also fee-based while court outreach is available to every victim seeking the courts’ protection or appearing as a witness in a criminal case.


Support, crisis intervention, safety planning, risk assessments, representation in court, education in the classroom and participation in community efforts to become more responsive to the needs of victims are the areas of the agency’s expertise.