Public Education and Awareness
The NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), a critical key in the prevention of and response to domestic violence is public education. Broadening the general public’s knowledge and understanding of the issue is essential to changing social norms and behaviors. Here are some ways in which OPDV and its partner agencies raised awareness of domestic violence in 2009:
Shine the Light on Domestic Violence by Turning NYS Purple
Purple is the color chosen to help spread awareness of domestic violence. To raise awareness around the state, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) had the honor and privilege of partnering with more than 120 different entities across New York State – non-profit service providers, private businesses, churches, universities, tourist attractions, chambers of commerce, television and radio stations, state, county and local government agencies, law enforcement, task forces and coalitions, and retail stores – all of which joined with domestic violence survivors and elected officials to “show their purple” during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Landmarks across the state were bathed in purple light, among them: Niagara Falls and the Peace Bridge in Western New York, the Empire State Building and 7 World Trade Center in New York City, the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany, and the historic Whiteface Mountain fire tower in the Adirondack Park.
Other communities participated in creative ways. Downtown Seneca Falls painted a purple stripe and stenciled anti-domestic violence slogans along the sidewalks, as shop owners distributed flyers with information about domestic violence and available services. Schoharie County highlighted the entrances to their towns with purple flag displays, banners – even a snowplow in purple – and police cars and public transportation vehicles displayed purple magnetic ribbons.
- On Oct. 14, many members of the state workforce wore purple to promote awareness of domestic violence.
- A cell phone drive in partnership with Verizon Wireless took place at all state agencies, and proceeds benefited victims in New York State in the form of grants to nonprofits.
- All marked New York State Police cars - more than 1,400 - are displaying “Stop Domestic Violence” bumper stickers.
- Organizations around the state held Awareness Days, including providing information for employees, encouraging staff to wear purple and donating to domestic violence programs.
Obtain more information.
This Isn’t Love campaign
A teen dating awareness campaign, “This Isn’t Love,” was released in February. Using images of candy Valentine’s Day conversation hearts displaying non-traditional messages – Where R U? Answer Me! Call Me Now! – the campaign was designed to educate teens that controlling behavior and jealously are signs of abuse, not affection. The NYS Education Department distributed a web-banner with related materials to all State schools and non-profits that serve the schools. OPDV developed a poster for customization and download by local programs.
For more information visit the OPDV website.
OPDV published four issues of its e-Bulletin covering substantive topics such as Financial Issues and Domestic Violence, Gender and Intimate Partner Violence Research, Crime Victim Compensation, Traumatic Brain Injury, LGBT Legal Issues, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Domestic Violence Fatality Review, and Domestic Violence and Disabilities. The Bulletin also highlights local and staff programs that deserve statewide recognition. Nearly 2,000 individuals receive the e-Bulletin and it has been used in trainings across the state.
For the Media
Press events and press releases were issued regarding Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” initiative, the passage of a large package of legislation, the development of a statewide Domestic Incident Report repository, and the production of Finding Safety & Support in five languages, generating significant media coverage. A team of students from New York University concluded work on a project in collaboration with OPDV focused on analyzing NYS print media’s reporting of domestic violence in New York State, which will result in tip sheets on the topic later in 2010.
Obtain more information.
The website received 834,195 visits in 2009. Major content additions to the website include a comprehensive criminal justice section, pages on traumatic brain injury and teen dating violence and a statistics section with national and state statistics and links to reports. The website is regularly updated with new, topical information.