How to Help Domestic Violence Survivors | Crystal Justice and Lata Sharma | Purse Power

Crystal Justice

Purse Power

Ep. 175 - Crystal Justice and Lata Sharma - Even though rarely talked about, the issue of domestic violence is much more common than you might think, and mostly affects women and communities of color. Crystal Justice has more than 18 years of experience dealing with the issue and will help us understand it better. Crystal Justice is the Chief External Affairs Officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She provides communication and fundraising leadership for the only 24/7 365 days hotline in the nation, serving victims and survivors via calls, chats, and texts. Lata Sharma is the founder of ImSafeNow, a company building a complete safety solution by using wearable technology. In this episode, Crystal talks about the purpose of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in helping domestic violence survivors. Listen in to learn how the pandemic increased the rate of survivors’ risk for abuse due to stress, financial strain, and isolation. You will also learn how to look out for warning signs of domestic violence on a friend or family and how to react in such situations.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally as a domestic violence survivor
  • How to look out for warning signs in survivors and explore safe conversations
  • How to approach a survivor sharing their experience without judgment and with validation

"If we want to see an end to domestic violence issues as a society, we have to start resourcing the community response to this. We need to think long and hard, how to create a comprehensive response to this issue." -Crystal Justice

In this episode you’ll discover:

Crystal describes her career journey in nonprofit and her 18 years working at the Hotline [3:55]

The functions of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in helping domestic violence survivors [5:32]

How they adjusted to help survivors during Covid, which changed the dynamic of domestic violence [10:20]

Tips on how to get help as survivor or a someone who knows anyone going through abuse [16:07]

The major signs to look out for in an abused family or friend during the pandemic [18:17]

Understanding the meaning and impact of digital violence as tech continues to advance [21:21]

Steps on how to approach helping a survivor you don’t know and the one you know [25:48]

Domestic violence particularly affects women and communities of color [30:43]

The different and complex reasons why women stay or go back to abusive partners [32:10]

Why domestic violence issues should be talked about to create awareness for younger people [34:52]

The steps to take as a survivor once you recognize red flags in a relationship [38:37]

Why you should care whether your employees are going through domestic violence [41:48]

How to proactively reach out to survivors in your circle and share the help message [44:38]

Lata on the physical safety and emotional support they offer survivors at I Am Safe Now [48:29]


Crystal Justice is the Chief External Affairs Officer at National Domestic Violence Hotline.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) is a 24-hour confidential service for survivors, victims and those affected by domestic violence, intimate partner violence and relationship abuse. Advocates are available at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and through online chatting at All calls are free and confidential. The NDVH was created through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the United States. The NDVH offers a variety of help options. The NDVH provides information on topics such as domestic violence, financial abuse,  relationship abuse, domestic violence policy updates, advocate information, what to expect when calling the hotline, and life after abuse and domestic violence. The NDVH launched loveisrespect, a resource empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse and promote healthy dating relationships.

Lata Sharma is the Founder and CEO of ImSafeNow, creating a complete safety solution by using wearable technology and building communities of ‘Network of Helpers and Counselors'. Wearable technology is at the intersection of hardware and software that enables the empowerment of women and children for their own safety. Affordability and Versatility is the key to making wearable tech accessible and ubiquitous. This will meet our goal of making safety more prevalent. Our product development strategy will not only drive the convergence between the two but also innovate on the supply and manufacturing to bring the cost down.

Lata has had significant international experience in leading the team and assessment and implementation of projects and business process improvement initiatives in Asia, the Middle East, China, and Latin America.


The Hotline

I'mSafeNow website

Twitter Crystal Justice

LinkedIn Crystal Justice

Lata Sharma

LoveIsRespect Website

The National Domestic Violence Hotline Video


Jillian Ryan

Kristen Keen

Suresh Sharma


Donna Miller is the founder and CEO of Purse Power, Let's Share the Journey. Purse Power promotes women-led, women-owned businesses by providing a Google extension that allows everyone who visits your website to locate nearby businesses.

Let's Share the Journey holds calls at 10 AM Central every Friday to learn from national leaders to share expertise, ideas, and support. One week a month features Zoom Room networking. We support Donna's endeavor and have provided the speaker calls in a podcast format. Please join her on Friday mornings! You can register for the calls here.

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