Why the campaign, why now:
Uniting to say “eNOugh” to domestic violence is not only a community and economic imperative, but an opportunity to bring together victims with survivors, support services with policy makers, local with state-wide efforts, and media with community. North Carolina is embarking on its first cohesive, media-based state-wide effort to raise awareness of Violence against Women. What’s unique about this effort?
- It leverages a public-private collaboration model to increase effectiveness and efficiency of local efforts and to increase public awareness of violence against women.
- The campaign’s framework will Educate, Connect and Inspire.
- The multi-year campaign is driven from a legislative mandate “to design, coordinate, and oversee a public awareness campaign” (General Statute 143B-394.16) with accountability to the NC Commission on Domestic Violence. (It also executes the vision and intent of NC’s 10-Year Plan to prevent Intimate Partner Violence.)
- It begins with a 2-county pilot (Mecklenburg and Iredell counties) to learn how community awareness and engagement can prevent violence, and in some cases, accelerate solutions and support for victims and their families.
- From the pilot implemented (2012-2013), plans for a statewide public awareness campaign will be implemented over three years with partnerships and metrics at a scale not yet realized in the state.
Why we must act now:
- 1 in 4 of our women will report violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
- It’s estimated nationally that intimate partner violence costs employers over $5 billion annually.
- One study found 54% of employees living with domestic violence missed at least 3 full days of work per month.
- Every 9 seconds a woman is abused. Domestic Violence is the #1 reason women and children become homeless in the U.S.
- More than 13% of high school students report experiencing physical violence by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Each year, Intimate Partner Violence results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women. About one-third of female victims of homicide were killed by their current or former husbands or boyfriends.
- A child's exposure to the father abusing the mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next .
- Approximately one-fifth of patients treated in hospital emergency rooms are treated for injuries inflicted by someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.
Who’s driving it:
In 2010, a group of motivated volunteers from businesses, to provider agencies, to non profits and community organizers, met to map out an integrated effort to end violence against women. Partners include:
- North Carolina Council for Women (NC Dept of Administration agency)
- North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission
- Safe Alliance
- Fifth Street Ministries/My Sister's House
- Mecklenburg County Community Support Services Women's Commission Division
- Volunteers representing corporate, law enforcement, legal experts, marketing and communication fields
By seeking efficiency among local resources, and tying those resources with a statewide public awareness campaign, over multiple years – the goal to educate, connect and inspire will work to end violence against women in our state.
When we can act as one community, against this crime and injustice among women (and men), we can truly break the cycle within families and communities. Like other awareness campaigns such as anti-smoking and seat belts, if we arm the public, we can create positive and lasting change.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead