Monday, January 28, 2013

With Super Bowl on Sunday, a new effort to protect women

A large number of women will be abused by their husbands and boyfriends this weekend, if history is any indication. The number usually jumps on Super Bowl Sunday.

It's hard to think of an area with a bigger disconnect between the scope of a problem and the public's awareness of it than with domestic violence.

One in four women will report abuse by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, advocates say, and domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women and children. Yet public awareness of the problem lags.

That might change soon, at least in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties. Advocates today launched the "eNOugh" campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence in those two counties. Organizers will run ads in print, online, on billboards, radio, TV and in movie theaters, heightening awareness and helping victims get help. The Duke Energy building uptown will be lit purple today as part of the campaign.

Charlotte's Jill Dinwiddie, the former head of the N.C. Council for Women, has led efforts over the past year to make the campaign a reality. State legislators handed the Council an unfunded mandate, telling it to create a public awareness campaign but giving it no money to do so. So Dinwiddie and her group have raised $283,000 in mostly private money. They need $400,000 more to keep the ads running all year. Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, Bank of America and other corporate leaders have helped the campaign get rolling.

They plan to return to the legislature next year with proof that public awareness pays off, and hope that legislators will then fund the campaign statewide. They'll track more than a half-dozen metrics to measure their success.

The ad campaign features survivors of domestic violence bravely coming forward, hoping their stories will prevent someone else's from ever taking shape. One, Tana Greene, told her story at today's kickoff event. She got pregnant around the ninth grade. She married the father but within the first year he was beating her. Fighting back tears, Greene told the crowd: "This campaign means everything to me, because it will name it." Meaning, it will not let domestic violence lurk in the shadows.

We've written about the good work Safe Alliance, formerly United Family Services, has done by building an expanded shelter for abused women and children. This public awareness campaign could help prevent women from ever needing Safe Alliance's services.

This campaign has the potential to dramatically raise awareness of domestic violence, thus helping eliminate it. We hope the public, other corporate leaders in Charlotte and, most of all, state legislators, take note.

For more information, and to watch a powerful video featuring survivors, go to

-- Taylor Batten


John said...

I don't believe that 1 in 4 number. I'll bet that number is skewed by women who enter into repeated abusive relationships.

Typically, women who enter into abusive relationships, continue to be attracted to the same type of man.

Abusive relationships are not nearly so simple as statistics like this imply. But, of course, the "advocates" usually have a financial stake in how they portray the issue.

John said...

To expand on that comment, for those who don't understand statistics.

Take a sample group of 100 women and determine that among them there were 25 domestic violence complaints. That works out to "1 in 4" but that is misleading.

Suppose when you look more deeply, you find that those of those 25 complaints, 5 women lodged 5 complaints each. Now, you see that it's really only 1 in 20, still a tragedy, but it is far from 1 in 4.

The reality is that most domestic violence complaints are repeated, often many times. Any statistics have to be adjusted for that... and likely aren't because worst case raises more funding!

jay1937 said...

Editorial writers don't want to tell it like it is. Just as the weathermen/women on TV they like to exaggerate anything that will be food to the liberal sheeple. Enough said.

Yak Rider said...

Bullspit. That canard about abuse spiking Super Bowl weekend was invented out of thin air back in the weeks leading up to the 1993 Super Bowl. You can check it on Snopes.

Skippy said...

Really Observer, nothing else on your mind than this liberal tripe? Clueless as usual.

Unknown said...

Love this article, and the typical male reactions(defensive and disbelieving)that help prove the point far better than the article alone could. They are correct though; the statistics aren't correct: it's the most under-reported crime in existence(and it's obvious why with reactions like these)so it's really more like half of all women. If you are a woman or are close with women, then you are painfully aware of this truth. Thank you for using your voice.