WASHINGTON: Nonprofit advocacy group Saving Promise created an executive board to increase awareness around domestic violence as a public health crisis.
Launched on October 1 to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Saving Promise founder L.Y. Marlow said the board is part of an effort to "shine a spotlight on the need to address domestic violence in the framework of prevention."
Saving Promise’s new board is comprised of 16 corporate executives, who Marlow called "change agents within their own networks." Some of the executives include Ann Davison, chair of the US public affairs and crisis practice at Burson-Marsteller; Michael Festa, CFO of Xerox Services; and Ildiko Csiki, M.D., Ph.D., director of clinical development at GlaxoSmithKline.
Marlow said combating domestic violence requires forward thinking and collective action, and the 16 executives have "pledged to share their personal and professional knowledge about how we can make a prevention-focused impact in areas we believe will have the widest and deepest reach."
Places they may target include the workplace and the healthcare sector, she added.
The board will also focus on engaging the Millennial generation because Marlow said 69% of women affected by domestic violence are under the age of 25.
Social media will "lead the way" for public awareness, she said, harkening back to the demographic of young people the group wants to reach. She added that Saving Promise "charged [the executives] with an objective to identify very progressive and innovative ways" to leverage outreach efforts.
"We have to step back from the way we used to respond to a national crisis," she said. The plan is to have a pilot initiative ready to launch in October 2015.
Public awareness and education around domestic violence are integral in creating a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one, explained Marlow. A proactive approach is necessary to taking on domestic violence "for the very reasons that we just saw play out in the NFL," she added, referencing the way the NFL handled Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice attacking his wife in February.
Vox Global provides pro-bono communications support to the organization and has worked with Saving Promise for about three years, a Vox Global spokesperson confirmed.