On relationship violence, let's move from discussions to solutions

Stopping abuse in Yeardley Love's memory
Stopping abuse in Yeardley Love's memory

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Stopping abuse in Yeardley Love's memory 04:39

Story highlights

  • An estimated one in three women will encounter relationship violence
  • Warning signs are easy to overlook but important to recognize.

Sharon Love is a co-founder and trustee of the One Love Foundation, whose mission is to end relationship violence through education and technology. The One Love Foundation was created in 2010 following the death of her daughter Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia senior who lost her life at the hands of her ex-boyfriend two weeks shy of graduation.

(CNN)Over the last few weeks, America has been caught up in a wrenching discussion of the issue of relationship violence with the revelations about Ray Rice and other star football players and the handling of their cases. It's a conversation in which my family and I have a vital stake.

Four years ago, my daughter Yeardley was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend in her apartment at the University of Virginia. Since then, in memory of our spirited, compassionate and beloved "Yards," we have worked to call attention to the tragedy of violence in relationships and dramatically reduce its incidence. We started a foundation called One Love, after Yeardley and the uniform number she proudly wore on her UVA team.
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    Thanks to the united voice of outrage that has been raised over the past few weeks, our society may be reaching a breakthrough moment in which we are all "One" in agreeing that relationship violence is never acceptable. But now it's time to move from discussion to real solutions - solutions that lead to a new reality in which relationship violence is far less prevalent.
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    This is exactly what we are trying to achieve at One Love. Until Yeardley died, I didn't realize how devastatingly common relationship violence is, both physical and sexual -- 1 in 3 women will encounter it -- or how easy it is to miss the warning signs. If we had understood more and been able to act, my daughter might still be with us today. As a result, we want everyone, especially the young adults most at risk or most likely to be close to someone who is, to learn and recognize those signs.
    So we're pursuing a new campaign with one simple goal: that every young person in America view public service announcement entitled "See it. Share it. Shatter the Silence." And then post, tweet, mail or text it on to everyone they know.
    The public service announcement (PSA) is aimed at emboldening young women and men to take a stand against relationship violence. It points them to our "My Plan" app, created in partnership with Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, which empowers them to assess their own relationships or those of loved ones who may be at risk.
    So let's all help move this discussion to solutions together by committing to stand up for change. The See it. Share it. Shatter the Silence PSA is a great place to start.