By Gargi Padki
On Sept 26th the Bloomberg administration released plans for a new ad campaign designed to help women realize if they are in an abusive relationship and asks themto seek help before the violence escalates to physical harm. The campaign launches this month as October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and there will be many events held throughout the city this month to call attention to this issue.
The advertisement that will be featured in NYC mass transit depicts a single woman with a tear in her eye and the words beaten, threatened, put down are written in bold next to her. The image this campaign presents, of a single woman who is sad and downtrodden and more importantly alone, highlights in itself the ostracizing potential of domestic violence. The Bloomberg administration has been successful in reducing domestic violence related homicides by 22%, but does not realize the powerful, though unintentional, message that this campaign sends: that you are alone.
We commend the campaign for addressing domestic violence, but the ad is isolating and puts all the weight of the abuse on the woman. What we have to address as a society is the culture of permissive violence we have created. Also, the campaign does not address cultural aspect of domestic violence. Often, domestic violence occurs because permission— tacit approval that is granted with the silence of neighbors, family, and friends— is given to the abuser. Still, we do applaud the Bloomberg administration’s active commitment to reducing domestic violence across the five boroughs. So far, the administration has seen some success with a 22% decrease in homicides, which is in no small part due to the emotional support, sheltering and legal assistance the city provides victims before abuse gets out of hand. But the incidence of domestic violence has risen in the past year in NYC. So even though the Bloomberg administration has done a lot to help battered women, there is plenty to be done. We have to address domestic violence as a societal issue and we can do so by starting right on our campus. So we urge our student body to Speak Up and Speak Out. Domestic violence is an issue we can address as a college community, because we are capable of creating the peaceful community in which we want to live.
For further information on the Bloomberg Ad Campaign and to learn more about resources provided by NYC please visit http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/agency-combats-domestic-violence-warning-ads-article-1.1467893.