The Women’s Resource Centre [WRC] has launched a powerful awareness campaign for Domestic Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.
A spokesperson said, “The campaign, designed to raise awareness and educate the community on the insidious cycle of abuse, is a collaboration with the former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
“The collaboration was initiated by Ms Tammy Richardson-Augustus, a survivor and advocate, who was moved when she saw the campaign in New York City several years ago. Ms Richardson-Augustus was connected with Ms Yolanda Jimenez, former New York City Commissioner to Combat Domestic Violence. Ms Jimenez has been an invaluable resource on domestic violence matters in general and worked with Ms Richardson-Augustus to redevelop the campaign for local use by the Women’s Resource Centre in Bermuda.
“With an emphasis on the non-physical forms of domestic abuse, the ad campaign employs a novel strategy for reaching women who may be in mentally and emotionally abusive relationships before physical violence begins. Using bold words and imagery, the campaign intends to grab attention and provoke reflection.
“The Women’s Resource Centre is pleased that the campaign is being released on Purple Thursday, the day that victims, survivors and supporters stand in solidarity; don purple ribbons; and, observe Domestic Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.”
Ms Juanae Crockwell, Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Centre, is eager to raise awareness on the issue of domestic abuse in Bermuda and provide support to women who are impacted by it.
She remarked: “We are deeply grateful to collaborate with Ms. Richardson-Augustus and the Ms. Yolanda Jimmez for bringing this powerful awareness campaign to Bermuda. So many women and families are impacted by abuse annually, and we are committed to raising awareness on this silent epidemic that has very loud repercussions for our community.
“We are also committed to providing survivors with trauma informed care and becoming the support network many need to recover from the emotional scars of abuse.”
The spokesperson said, “The Women’s Resource Centre supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse by providing access to counselling and therapeutic support programmes designed to help women rebuild their lives after abuse.
“Additionally, the WRC is engaged in advocacy and awareness efforts to educate the community, break the stigma and prevent the occurrence of abuse wherever possible.”
Ms Richardson- Augustus said: “Stalking, emotional, verbal and economic abuse are prevalent in almost all cases of domestic violence. A singular focus on physical violence can obscure the reality. Abuse takes many forms that do not necessarily involve direct physical assault. It is important to understand the early warning signs of abuse as sometimes the only act of violence is the final and fatal act.”
The spokesperson said, “The campaign was successful in New York City in raising awareness on the non-physical signs of abuse in intimate partner relationships and on increasing disclosure of abuse. We hope to have a similar impact here in Bermuda.”
“The scars of emotional abuse can be just as devastating as those of physical abuse,” said Yolanda Jimenez, former New York City Commissioner to Combat Domestic Violence. “The NYC campaign was effective in raising awareness of the fraught issue of abuse and resulted in a substantial increase in calls to the City’s Domestic violence hotline. I am thrilled that Ms Richardson-Augustus is working with the Women’s Resource Centre and will be able to make this happen for the residents of Bermuda.”
The spokesperson said, “Global domestic abuse statistics show that almost one in three—or 736 million—women above the age of 15 have experienced intimate partner violence. In Bermuda, it is projected that 7,000 women will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, with an estimated 3,000 women having experienced intimate partner abuse in the last 12 months.”
Jose Bandujo, President of Bandujo Advertising and Design, the agency that developed the original campaign and refined the assets for Bermuda, said: “It’s always tremendously fulfilling for us as an advertising agency when we can apply our creative talents in ways that are so meaningful. We applaud Tammy Richardson-Augustus for helping the women of Bermuda understand the signs of abuse and the Women’s Resource Centre for providing them with a free, safe, and confidential space in which to seek assistance.”
The spokesperson said, “To support survivors, members of the community can donate to the Women’s Resource Centre, ensuring that any woman who has experienced abuse will have a safe space to recover. Please visit www.wrcbermuda.com or call the Women’s Resource Centre office at 295-3882.”