Monday, October 5, 2015

Going Beyond Awareness to Understanding — In October, the Golden State Turns Purple

By Jessica Merrill, Communications & Development Manager at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

You’ve probably heard this familiar statistic: one in four women has experienced domestic violence. But what knowledge should you know to truly understand what survivors go through? To stand with survivors, ensuring that we create a culture where they are supported, believed and protected, it’s essential that we listen to their experiences and gain a nuanced understanding of the ways they’re marginalized.

For example, did you know that teens in abusive relationships are more likely to struggle academically? If we think about the many ways this has consequences in the lives of California’s youth, one solution becomes clear—school policies should address adolescent dating abuse and offer support to those who are affected by it.

The more specific information we know about survivors’ experiences, the more communities can rally around these types of solutions. It’s the responsibility of advocates in the movement to end domestic violence to create those learning opportunities, and provide Californians with the tools they need to engage one another in conversations—whether it be with educators, elected officials, friends or family. At the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, we’re proud to present the campaign In October, the Golden State Turns Purple—a series of social media activities that give insight into the most important issues our movement is facing today. Each week, we’ll go in-depth into following themes:

  • Weeks 1 & 2: Social Norms Contributing to Domestic Violence
  • Week 3: Domestic Violence at the Intersections: Race & Immigration
  • Week 4: Domestic Violence in the 21st Century: Financial & Technology Abuse
  • Week 5: Prevention & Intervention Approaches

We’re hosting live Periscope chats with our members and social justice allies each week, because we know how important it is to meet people who work on behalf of survivors every day. They’ll provide key context into our movement’s place in the broader struggle for social justice, and why we can’t ignore the barriers that exist for immigrants and people of color.

Social media is changing everything for advocates, allowing us to expand our reach like never before. When someone sees an image like this pop up in their newsfeed, they might just share it with a friend or volunteer for their local domestic violence organization.

These small actions make a big difference. To us, turning the Golden State Purple means learning about survivors’ experiences and root causes of domestic violence, thinking critically, and being resolute to take action.

Your participation this campaign strengthens our work. Get involved in each day of our Domestic Violence Awareness Month calendar, get the facts, and join the conversation. We need your voice to end domestic violence in California.

Jessica Merrill is the Communications & Development Manager at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership). Her goal is to create a rich, engaging dialogue across California to increase knowledge of domestic violence as a public health crisis—and to promote comprehensive solutions that everyone can participate in. By providing communications tools to the Partnership’s member programs and all Californians, she works to shift social norms that contribute to domestic violence through social and traditional media advocacy. Jessica earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and American Studies from UC Davis, and obtained her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Sacramento State University. She has a love for graphic design, infographics, and current events.