Ad Campaign To Shed Light On Domestic Violence In OK
OKLAHOMA CITY - Violence against women is a problem putting our state in the national spotlight. The latest state rankings for domestic abuse show Oklahoma to be the third worst in the country.
Now, a local non-profit is hoping to bring awareness with a new ad campaign this month. The title of the new awareness campaign is 'Uncomfortable.'
As one anonymous survivor explained to me, the title is appropriate because the first step toward preventing, or even reducing, domestic violence is getting people to talk about it, which, for many, is extremely uncomfortable.
"I've had busted lips, black eyes," the survivor said, thinking the abuse in her marriage was normal. "It was close to hell."
As a mother she contemplated leaving several times but worried she could not make it on her own. So she did her best to keep the peace in her home.
"I was walking on eggshells and if he didn't like any little thing I would get hurt for it," she said.
She' s one of the 1 in 4 women the YWCA refers to in its ad campaign.
"I was praying, Lord, open the door for me to leave and I will never come back," the survivor said.
She called 911 for help after being hit for the last time. The Oklahoma City Police Department received thousands of similar calls in 2012. An estimated 36,000 calls to 911 were related to domestic abuse.
The Oklahoma City Police report spending approximately 8.5 million in that same year on domestic violence related cases.
It is a community safety concern that Jan Peery and the YWCA are hoping will get some resolve with the new awareness campaign.
"We think this ad has a pretty powerful message and it shows this happens to people that are friends and nobody knows it," Peery said.
The survivor explained how the YWCA helped her. It started with a police officer giving her a card with a hotline number for YWCA.
She called and for the last 2 ½ years has been a survivor of domestic abuse.
"Everybody can do this," she said. The survivor now lives on her own and is proud of it. "You can do it by yourself, the YWCA can teach you."
The YWCA is a non -profit dedicated to helping women leave violent situations. The YWCA offers programs to rehabilitate abused women and help them get women back on their feet.
"If there is a place, this is the place to get started to live a new life," the anonymous survivor encouraged women in similar situations to call for help at 405.917.YWCA.