Public Education & Awareness
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence conducts public education and outreach to increase understanding of domestic violence by the general public and specific audiences and, ultimately, to change the social norms and behaviors that allow domestic violence to continue. Here are some ways in which OPDV raised awareness in 2013.
“Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” by Turning NYS Purple
Two thousand thirteen was the sixth year of OPDV’s public awareness initiative to turn the State purple during October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Purple is the color used to spread awareness of domestic violence and in 2013, Niagara Falls, Times Square, city halls and county court houses in the state turned purple. Participants included non-profit and domestic violence service providers, private businesses, elected officials, universities, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, the faith community and individuals. Some creative ideas included purple flags representing number of people served, purple painted pinkies, and a competition to “Paint the Post Purple” on a military base. Participants availed themselves of downloadable resources in OPDV’s online Toolkit, including posters, brochures and wallet cards.
The “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign continues to grow and has become self-sustaining as organizations are incorporating these activities into their annual calendars. Though smaller in scale than “pink for breast cancer,” the campaign has similarly taken on a life of its own, with participants planning their own activities at the local level. OPDV will continue to support and promote the campaign each year, and continue to post photos on its Facebook page.
For more information visit the OPDV public awareness website.
OPDV published four issues of its e-Bulletin covering substantive topics such as Enhancing Child Welfare Domestic Violence Practice, Economic Abuse and Domestic Violence, Juvenile Orders of Protection as a Remedy for Dating Violence, Coercive Control, Child Abduction, Working With Deaf Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence, Protecting Indian Women with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Intersection of Gang Culture and Domestic Violence. The Bulletin also highlights local and State government programs that deserve statewide recognition. Nearly 2,000 individuals receive the e-Bulletin, and it has been used in trainings across the state.
For more information visit the OPDV public awareness website.
For the Media
OPDV participated in several press initiatives in 2013, sometimes in partnership with other agencies. OPDV provided information to the Governor’s office for his announcement of their Executive Director’s appointment. OPDV also contributed to the Governor’s press release kicking off Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which announced the official proclamation and the annual Shine the Light on Domestic Violence campaign. OPDV joined with the Manhattan Borough President’s office for the third time to promote Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” initiative at a press event as Times Square was illuminated in purple.
OPDV hosted a media event and public screening of the set of videos (Finding Safety & Support: The Video) and PSAs promoting the theme, “Don’t Do Nothing.” Musician Natalie Merchant, who is featured in the PSAs, spoke at the event. A press release was distributed statewide.
OPDV partnered with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to promote further awareness of the year-old program SAVIN-NY, the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification Network-New York.
OPDV collaborated with the NYS Office for the Aging to issue a press release announcing a new brochure for older adults and a desk reference for senior center staff.
For more information see press releases.
The total number of OPDV website pages viewed in 2013 was 309,756. The website is OPDV’s primary means for disseminating information to professionals, victims, systems, constituents, and the media. The homepage is regularly updated, often featuring web banners that proclaim awareness events including Stalking Awareness Month, Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month, Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Major content additions to the website in 2013 include the following new and/or substantially updated information and resources: 2013 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws; Child Protective Services Training; Guiding Principles for Community Domestic Violence Policy; Health Care Information for Professionals; Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Relationships; Mistreatment of Older Adults; and Understanding Domestic Abusers. The website was utilized to disseminate the following items: New York State Domestic Violence Dashboard Project – 2012 Data and the Domestic Violence Annual Report 2013. The website is regularly updated with new, topical information.
For more information, visit the OPDV website
OPDV also maintains Respect Love, Love Respect, a discrete website with corresponding Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to teen dating violence and dating abuse. The total number of Respect Love website pages viewed in 2013 was 12,977. The website has interactive features like a healthy relationships quiz and provides a multitude of resources on many subject areas related to dating abuse, such as how to identify dating abuse, statistics, advice for parents, healthy relationships, stalking and sexual assault, technology and abuse, bystander intervention and resources for college campuses. In 2013, OPDV began plans to update the website with new information and more interactive features.
For more information visit the Respect Love website.
OPDV’s Facebook page features regular posts, which also appear on a Twitter feed, covering awareness activities, topics in the news, grant opportunities, suggestions for how people can get involved, links to resources and links to the OPDV website. By the end of 2013, there were 2,376 fans of the page. There were 329 followers on Twitter.
OPDV’s page on Facebook is: www.facebook.com/NYSdomesticviolence
OPDV’s Twitter is: www.twitter.com/NYSOPDV
OPDV’s “Respect Love, Love Respect” Facebook and Twitter pages feature regular posts covering awareness activities, news topics of interest to young people, questions for them to consider and answer, links to resources and links to the Respect Love and OPDV websites. The Respect Love Facebook page had 1,012 fans by the end of 2013. There were 32 followers on Twitter.
The “Respect Love, Love Respect” page on Facebook is: www.facebook.com/respectloveNYS
The Twitter is: www.twitter.com/respectloveNYS
OPDV also maintains a YouTube channel. The set of three videos: “Finding Safety & Support: The Video” was posted on YouTube, along with the two PSAs featuring Natalie Merchant.
The YouTube channel is: www.youtube.com/NYSdomesticviolence
OPDV gathers news of available grants, upcoming conferences, and resources of potential interest to domestic violence service providers and consolidates them into a monthly e-mail called an OPDV e-Alert. The e-Alerts are distributed to nearly 1,700 recipients and are designed to share information that is more time-sensitive than what is typically covered in OPDV’s quarterly e-newsletter, the OPDV Bulletin. On occasion, a news item of great significance warrants a special e-Alert be sent in addition to the regularly scheduled monthly e-mail, such as announcing the passing of new legislation.