Public awareness campaigns educate the public about specific issues. Campaigns bring issues to the forefront of dialogue, and they can alter social consciousness and encourage people to change their actions. Public awareness campaigns on domestic violence can educate community members about the prevalence of abuse, encourage people to take action to end abuse, and alert survivors to the options and resources that are available to them.
Here we explore three aspects of developing domestic violence awareness campaigns:
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is the perfect opportunity to develop and launch a public awareness campaign on domestic violence. DVAM awareness campaigns can link with an organization's DVAM activities, span the entire year, or last for several years. They can range in complexity from large budget, national campaigns encouraging a specific segment of the population to get involved in domestic violence prevention, to small budget campaigns that highlight a local hotline number.
Whatever the campaign, advocates may find it helpful to join forces with other anti-violence advocates, domestic violence prevention organizations, and community-based organizations. Often larger campaigns are able to reach more people and have a greater impact on public opinion. Forming a coalition to launch a campaign or joining an existing coalition's campaign can provide advocates with resources they otherwise might not be able to develop or access on their own. Practical planning tips and a story of lessons learned are included here, in "The Rhode Island Experience" [PDF - 4p.].
Provided below are descriptions of and resource information for various campaigns designed to raise public awareness of domestic violence. The creators of these campaigns intended for them to be used and adapted throughout the years in communities across the states, tribal nations and territories. If you know of an educational and/or awareness initiative with a particular message/story and organizing element that can be shared widely and used repeatedly, please let us know about it by contacting the Domestic Violence Awareness Project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
Campaign ideas highlighted in this section (by clicking the header above), in easily downloadable "how-to" handouts, represent newer awareness activities that have emerged over the past few years and that have seen growing success. Many of these campaigns use social media to quickly and widely disseminate information, challenge and change community perceptions about domestic violence, and allow opportunities for repeated viewing and distribution. No matter the design, these campaigns continue to represent community-wide grassroots efforts to bring concerned individuals, families, neighbors, co-workers, businesses, public officials and many others together to end abuse.
One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. For V-Days 15th Anniversary, the NRCDV joins V-Day to rise up and demand an end to violence against women & girls. Learn why.
Resources discussed in this section (by clicking the header above) represent long-standing campaign events that have a rich and deeply rooted history in the movement to end domestic violence. Each of these campaigns are unique in their design and provide enough information to allow advocates to successfully replicate, modify and coordinate a similar event in their community. Many of the campaigns detailed here are connected to a national body that may provide additional information, coordination and guidance.