Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign: 21 Days of Questions 365 Days of Action


10/17/2012

DV kick off picture

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21 days of questions 365 days of action: YOU can do something about Domestic Violence in Cambridge!
It’s happening all around us. Just about everyone knows someone who’s been in an abusive relationship that’s wreaked havoc on their lives. What would happen if every one in Cambridge started to talk about domestic violence, dating violence and different forms of abuse in relationships? What if YOU, your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers could be part of a whole new way of creating community change: by asking questions to mobilize action?

For 21 Days, October 17 through November 7, our whole community will ask questions about WHY we have violence in our relationships and in our homes? WHAT causes it? WHO is affected? HOW do we stop it?

Link to Campaign PSA

You will encounter posters, billboards, websites, public service advertisements, social media and community conversations in coffee shops, buses, T stations, schools, gyms, office cafeterias, supermarkets, birthday parties, book groups, street fairs and dinner tables all across the City of Cambridge -- inviting you to donate your questions and to let everybody know why they are important to you. YOU will join your ideas and your voice with thousands of others of all ages and backgrounds who will donate their questions by text, email, phone call, and in written messages. The questions will be used to understand our community’s concerns, motivate action and drive change. 

Once questions are gathered, they will be sorted into content categories and a picture of our community’s priorities will start to emerge. The key questions will be presented back to campaign participants in small and large gatherings, online and via media. YOU and other members of the community will weigh in on the key issues Cambridge must focus on. Together, community members and city leaders will examine existing resources to implement new strategies to address domestic violence. Together we will determine what more is needed and what roles we must all play to make our community a safer and healthier place for everyone.  In November, you will be invited to a public event to hear back on the three themes that emerged from the campaign. In 2013, the 365 days of action will start.

“This is an opportunity to really engage people around the entire city to have a conversation about an issue that affects most of us,” said Cambridge City Councillor Marjorie Decker who developed the campaign in collaboration with various community and city partners and agencies.  “1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence abuse in their relationships, and the goal of this campaign is to make people feel empowered to ask questions and have a conversation about this topic so that we can learn what changes need to be made to ensure that people are safe in their relationships and in their homes.”

Commenting on the campaign, City Manager Robert W. Healy said, “I believe Cambridge has been on the forefront of dealing with domestic violence for a long time. Our police department, our public health services and other departments have always worked sincerely on this issue and it’s time to look at it anew and I find this is a very exciting way to do it.”

For more information about the campaign and to get involved: getinvolved@21dayscambridge.org

Be part of community change. Submit your question today! Text your question to 21days@vojo.co or call 617-981-4731 to record your question. For more information, contact Sara Doherty, sdoherty@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4276.

Backgrounder:
21 Days of Questions, 365 Days of Action is a community engagement project developed by the office of City Councilor Marjorie Decker in collaboration with Transition House, Engage the Power, Cambridge Women’s Commission,  Cambridge Public Health Department, Community Development Department, Department of Human Services, Youth Action Corps, Cambridge Multi-Service Center, Cambridge Community Television, MIT, Harvard University, Cambridge College, Violence Transformed and the Victims of Violence program at Cambridge Health Alliance.

[1] The question campaign is a model developed by Engage the Power, a global initiative to fuel democracy by supporting the diverse global public to raise questions, exchange knowledge and organize for action. www.engagethepower.org

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