FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, October 1, 2020

CONTACT: Brittany Ballantyne, communications manager, RICADV; Phone: 401-467-9940;
brittany@ricadv.org; www.ricadv.org

*If you are a member of the media on deadline and are reaching out after hours, please contact the Rhode Island statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100.

R.I. Coalition Against Domestic Violence calls on Rhode Islanders to 'know the signs' during community meeting and campaign reveal

WARWICK, R.I., October 1, 2020 – To mark the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its full member agencies (Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Domestic Violence Resource Center, Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center and Women’s Resource Center) launched a new campaign, calling the community in to “know the signs” and share the collective responsibility of ending domestic abuse.

The RICADV and its survivor taskforce, SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships), hosted a virtual community meeting and campaign reveal Thursday, Oct. 1. The campaign highlights how “it’s on all of us to end domestic violence,” and the event included a Q&A session with survivors, premiere of a TV PSA and campaign artwork, resources and tools for bystanders and a calendar of events reveal.

Tonya Harris, executive director, said, "Everyone’s involvement in ​ending domestic violence is even more important now. The COVID-19 pandemic and social isolation  have magnified the immense needs of survivors. Between March and July 2020, we provided advocacy services to over 4,500 individuals, and more than 11,000 overnight shelter stays. That would have not been possible without the support of our community.”

Our campaign calls Rhode Islanders in, and urges each of us to learn more about subtle and commonly overlooked forms of abuse. The campaign was created from nearly a year of preparation and collaboration between the RICADV’s network of full member agencies through the Public Awareness Working Group, PAWG, and by listening to the voices of our community and survivors. Talented art director Loretta Kennedy drew from the experiences of survivors to inspire the look, feel and message of the campaign.

Haley, a survivor and member of SOAR, said, "I told people about the abuse, and they didn’t blame me. Instead, they believed me and validated me. It was helpful realizing I was not alone, and there were other people who had similar experiences. Because of this, I was able to stop blaming myself for the harm my abuser caused." 

Rhode Islanders will see campaign ads throughout the state on billboards, buses, the Rhode Island Convention Center, Dunkin’ Donuts Center and Veterans Memorial Auditorium and among other Rhode Island businesses and community and health centers. A video interview series will be broadcast in Spanish on the Rhode Informa show, print ads will be seen in local media outlets and digital ads will also be seen across the web and social media.

Join the RICADV in this effort to get information in the hands of every Rhode Islander – because when you know the signs, you can learn where to get support if you are experiencing abuse or how to provide support as a bystander to someone you know and love who is being abused. Learn what you can do to end domestic abuse, and get involved. It’s on all of us to end domestic violence.

For more information about the RICADV, visit www.ricadv.org, and to access the campaign, visit www.NoMoreRI.org

How you can help: As relatives, friends, coworkers and neighbors, we can help keep victims and their children safe and prevent another tragedy. If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who might be, or if you are looking for resources for a child who has witnessed domestic violence, call the Rhode Island statewide Helpline for 24-hour support and information at 800-494-8100.

Calling 911 if you suspect or witness abuse is an important step to take, but there are many other ways to help. If you know or suspect someone in your life is a victim of domestic violence, you can help that person stay safe. Listen, and express your concerns without judgment. Ask the person what you can do for them, and check in consistently. Help the person create a plan that will keep them safe when abuse occurs, and connect them with local resources. Additional information can be found at
www.ricadv.org.


About the RICADV:
 The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. The RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the domestic violence agencies in Rhode Island. The organization provides leadership to its member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island. The RICADV's network of member agencies provides a wide array of services for victims, including emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services, and assistance with the legal system. For more information about these organizations and services, call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100.