Our beautiful 19-year old daughter, Emily Rachel Silverstein, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on April 9, 2009 at Gettysburg College. It's not anything that she or we could ever have imagined would happen. Fortunately murders are not very common, but dating violence and abuse is. 1 in 3 teens report that they have experienced physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse. YOU can help raise awareness about this serious issue, helping young people learn the warning signs of date abuse, AND even more importantly, know what to do to protect themselves if they are in an abusive relationship.

We started the nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization The Emily Silverstein Fund Inc. (dba The EMILY Fund) to continue Emily's legacy of service to community and to help raise awareness about the serious issue of dating violence.

Please help spread the word to stop dating violence. Get Free Dating Pledge Cards to hand out. So far we've mailed out over 600,000 cards requested by more than 1200 domestic violence agencies and schools in all 50 states! The response has been amazing. The cards are a simple, non-confrontational way to begin a conversation about healthy relationships and dating abuse.

Dating violence is one of 4 crimes included in the Violence Against Women Act adopted by the US Congress. The other 3 crimes are domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Violence against women is a serious problem in America. 3 women are murdered by an intimate partner every day in America and each year 4.8 million American women are physically assaulted!

To help states, municipalities, agencies and individuals further the goals of the Violence Against Women Act, the US Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women has worked with Congress, the President, and nonprofits nationwide to establish months designated to raise awareness about the four crimes included in the bill: January is Stalking Awareness Month; February is Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month; April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; and October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

These months provide the perfect opportunity to help educate your community and help stop violence against women. Get Involved. Speak Out. Help stop violence against women.

In 2010, US Governors and Mayors declared over 900 proclamations to help end violence against women, providing opportunities for awareness-raising activities all across the nation.

Thank you for helping me to honor our daughter, Emily.

Robert Alan Silverstein (Bob)
Executive Director
The EMILY Fund
PO Box 430
Roosevelt, NJ 08555-0430
Email me: Bob@emilyfund.org
Fax: 1-888-247-1291

Dating Pledge Cards

Over 400,000 FREE Dating Pledge Cards distributed in all 50 states!
Please help distribute these FREE Cards

"You have simplified the way to talk about what is really important -
RESPECT in relationships.....thank you."
-- Dee Erlandson, Family Crisis Center, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

"This is such a great resource! Thanks for making it available!"
-- Jennifer Boblitt-Johnson, Women's Crisis Center, Hebron, Kentucky

more feedback

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help me honor my daughter Emily
even $5 allows me to reach over 200 young people



For more about Emily Rachel's life and legacy: www.EmilyFund.org


The US Dept of Health and Human Services recommends that "if you or someone you know has been the victim of dating violence, seek help from other family members and friends or community organizations. Reach out for support or counseling. Talk with a health care provider, especially if you have been physically hurt. Learn how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of dating violence before you find yourself in an uncomfortable or threatening situation. And, learn about how to get help for sexual assault and abuse. Another important part of getting help is knowing if you are in an abusive relationship." These are some of the warning signs:


  • monitors what you're doing all the time
  • criticizes you for little things
  • constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
  • prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school
  • gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • controls how you spend your money
  • controls your use of needed medicines
  • humiliates you in front of others
  • destroys your property or things that you care about
  • threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets, or does hurt you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
  • uses or threatens to use a weapon against you
  • forces you to have sex against your will
  • blames you for his or her violent outbursts

(from the US Dept of Health & Human Services, Office on Women's Health)

(From TheSafeSpace.org)

Domestic and dating violence is a very serious and very scary issue. Whether you are in an abusive relationship, just got out of one or are worried about a friend or family member, learning how to stay safe is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself or a loved one from harm.

Here you will find out what steps you can take to protect yourself or what you can do to help someone else. Get tips on calling the police and safety planning. You can also learn about your rights, like filing for restraining orders and how your state protects teens. Being informed is the best way to ensure your safety as well as the safety of those you love.

Need Help?
If you are in an abusive relationship, you canít control your partnerís abusive behavior. But, you can take steps to protect yourself from harm. Whether youíve decided to stay in the relationship, end the relationship, or you just donít know what to do, here you can find information and tools that can help you stay safe. Learn more >>>

Know Your Rights
Ending an abusive relationship can be the most dangerous time for a victim. Violence often begins or gets worse when a victim breaks up with their abusive partner. A restraining order can be a powerful tool to ending an abusive relationship safely. Learn more >>>

Help Someone Else
Seeing someone you care about experience abuse in their relationship can be very difficult and frustrating. Whether you know someone who is being abused or are worried someone you know is abusive, find out what steps you can take to support and help them. Learn more >>>



I have the right:

To always be treated with respect - In a respectful relationship, you should be treated as an equal.

To be in a healthy relationship - A healthy relationship is not controlling, manipulative, or jealous. A healthy relationship involves honesty, trust, and communication.

To not be hurt physically or emotionally - You should feel safe in your relationship at all times.

Abuse is never deserved and is never your fault - Conflicts should be resolved in a peaceful and rational way.

To refuse sex or affection at anytime - A healthy relationship involves making consensual sexual decisions.

You have the right to not have sex - Even if you have had sex before, you have the right to refuse sex for any reason.

To have friends and activities apart from my boyfriend or girlfriend - Spending time by yourself, with male or female friends, or with family is normal and healthy.

To end a relationship - You should not be harassed, threatened, or made to feel guilty for ending an unhealthy or healthy relationship. You have the right to end a relationship for any reason you choose.

(From Love Is Respect - National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline)

How To Help a Friend Who Is Being Abused

  • Set a time to talk. Set aside a time to talk privately with your friend. Make sure you talk in a quiet place where you won't be distracted.

  • Let your friend know you're concerned about her safety. Be honest. Help her to see the abuse. Tell her about times when you were worried about her safety. Help her see that what she's going through is not normal and that she deserves better. Let her know you are concerned about her and want to help.

  • Let your friend know you understand she's in a tough situation. Make sure she knows the abuse is not her fault. Tell her that she is not alone, that she has many people who love her and care about her. Let her know there is help and support out there.

  • Be supportive. Listen to your friend. Keep in mind that it may be very hard for her to talk about the abuse. Let her know that you are there to help her.

  • Don't place shame, blame, or guilt on your friend. Don't say, "You just need to leave." Instead, say something like, "I get scared thinking about what might happen to you."

  • If your friend decides to stay, continue to be supportive. She may decide to stay in the relationship. Or she may leave and then go back to the relationship many times. It may be hard for you to understand, but there are lots of reasons people stay in abusive relationships. Be supportive, no matter what your friend decides to do.

  • Encourage your friend to do things outside of the relationship, with friends and family.

  • Help her make a safety plan.

  • If your friend decides to leave, continue to be supportive. Even though the relationship was abusive, she may still feel sad and lonely once it is over.

  • Encourage your friend to talk to someone who can help. Offer to help her find a local domestic violence agency. If she decides to take this step and get help, offer to go with her to the agency, to talk to friends and family, to the police, or to court.

  • Keep in mind that you can't "rescue" your friend. She has to be the one to decide it's time to get help. Support her no matter what her decision.

  • Let your friend know that you will always be there no matter what.

(from the US Dept of Health & Human Services, Office on Women's Health)

1. Find out what resources are available at your school and in your community for those who are threatened with dating abuse.

2. Contact a local domestic violence agency or organization and jointly organize several events at school throughout the year to raise awareness about dating violence and how to get help, including:

  • awareness skits;
  • displaying posters around school/on campus with information about local and national resources available to those threatened with dating abuse;
  • setting up a table to get students to sign The Dating Pledge;
  • distributing free Dating Pledge Cards from StopDateViolence.org, and Dating Violence Warning Signs Cards from JenniferAnn.org.

3. Send Dating Pledge Cards to local and national businesses and ask them to sponsor Dating Pledge Cards. (We can do printings of 1000 cards for a $50 donation with an acknowledgment to the sponsor printed on the back for you to distribute - contact bob@datingpledge.org)

4. Send a dating pledge card with a note to your local media and let them know that your school has joined the National Dating Pledge Challenge to help stop dating violence.

5. Create a short youTube video urging others to Take The Dating Pledge.

6. Invite any single local, national or international celebrities to Take The Dating Pledge.

7. Support organizations working to prevent dating abuse and domestic violence.



The National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TTY).

The National Sexual Assault Hotline

StopDatingViolence.org is a project of the 501c(3) The Emily Fund / The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.