FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Providence, RI – June 6, 2014] The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) on Wednesday received the Rhode Island Foundation's Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence Communications Award for the "KNOW MORE" public awareness and education campaign, which uses traditional and new media strategies to target specialized populations including men, youth, and the Latino community.
"We are excited to receive this recognition; raising public awareness about domestic violence, with a focus on changing social attitudes and engaging the community, is a critical part of our mission and we know that this award will help us continue leading efforts to end domestic violence. Our communication's team has done a remarkable job incorporating innovative and contemporary strategies into each facet of our work, and we know that this approach is going to make a difference in creating a better and safer Rhode Island community," said Deborah DeBare, RICADV's executive director.
Research shows that most people know someone experiencing abuse but don't know how to help. To address this need in 2013, RICADV launched the KNOW MORE campaign and asked community members to play an active role in addressing domestic violence. KNOW MORE, an expansion of the NO MORE campaign, focuses on educating and engaging bystanders to help prevent and end domestic violence within Rhode Island. The NO MORE campaign is part of the national effort to unify domestic violence and sexual assault organizations and to raise awareness about violence against women.
"When we launched our statewide initiative to increase bystander action in 2013, we never expected our efforts to be met with accolades. We boldly hoped that by using integrated, innovative methods, we would increase our reach and connect with diverse bystanders who are instrumental in preventing domestic violence. We are extremely grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for this recognition of our communications work and especially glad to be moving our messages forward so that collectively, we may create lasting social change for future generations," said Cristina Williams, manager of communications and public relations for the RICADV.
Guided by the statewide Public Awareness Working Group (PAWG) comprised of RICADV member agency representatives, the RICADV developed innovative ways to raise awareness and educate bystanders on the steps they can take to help someone in an abusive relationship. Integrated strategies included the digital and print launch of bystander tools, an online public service announcement (PSA) calling bystanders to action, the nationally-recognized KNOW MORE Video Project featuring bystander and survivor testimonials, bystander-focused Tweet Chats, an Instagram contest for youth, a TV PSA created by RI teens, and ads on buses, bus shelters, billboards, placemats, TV and radio.
To reach the Latino community, the RICADV partnered with Providence En Español—the publication helps engage readers in addressing domestic violence through regular features and advertisements. Other strong partners include Telemundo and Latino Public Radio who helped by developing TV and radio ads, hosting a televised call center, Linea De Ayuda, and inviting the RICADV to participate in La Feria de la Familia, an annual family expo.
The RICADV strategically uses new media tools to help finite resources go farther in getting messages to reach and resonate with more Rhode Islanders. The RICADV then leverages these tools to engage supporters and build relationships in the community.
"We're gearing up for some exciting and promising new public awareness initiatives. Our TEN MEN group have just completed a community-driven PSA around male engagement in the work to end domestic violence. It will air on Cox stations starting June 9. And PAWG is already brainstorming new strategies for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October—so stay tuned, connected and in the KNOW. Together we can prevent and end domestic violence," added Williams.
To read the Rhode Island Foundation's release, and view photos and the short documentary on all the award recipients, visit their blog.