RI domestic violence group boosts budget, awareness

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICDV) last year updated a 1997 survey in which 43 percent of respondents had agreed that a woman who was the object of domestic violence had provoked it.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICDV) last year updated a 1997 survey in which 43 percent of respondents had agreed that a woman who was the object of domestic violence had provoked it.

The 2005 update showed that now 73 percent completely disagreed.

 "It is progress, but it is not enough," says Karen Jeffreys, RICDV comms director.

STRATEGY

Thanks to partnerships and more concentrated fundraising, RICDV's Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign budget grew by $170,000.

Two years ago, its AOR, The Link Agency, crafted a campaign that "was image-based and did not show [actual] people," says Tracy LeRoux, CEO and creative director of The Link Agency. The 2005 tagline was "Domestic violence. It's closer than you think," and the campaign used images of everyday people to show that domestic violence can happen to anyone.

TACTICS

The multi-pronged effort included community and business partnerships, and public events where survivors shared their stories, and RICDV relied on its staff and strong volunteer contingent to distribute materials. The campaign included posters, helpline cards, magnets, pencils, pamphlets, purple ribbons, a TV spot, and bus, billboard, and radio ads.

RESULTS

"There was a time when it felt like we were everywhere," Jeffreys says. The distribution numbers: 11,000 posters, 100,000 palm cards, 100,000 pamphlets, 35 billboards, 85 back-of-the-bus displays, and 36,000 purple wristbands. Also, a stamp created by the Rhode Island Southeast New England District of the US Post Office outsold every other district in the nation - and that's not per capita.

FUTURE

Jeffreys expects a bigger budget for 2006 and says 17 states have received tips on duplicating the effort.

PR team: Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Providence, RI) and The Link Agency (Providence)

Campaign: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Duration: October 2005

Budget: $175,000

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