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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 1, 2012
CONTACT: Cristina Williams at RICADV: (401) 467-9940; Cell: (917) 940-3729
Find out what they are saying about the RICADV, the NO MORE campaign to end domestic violence, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Event includes a special preview performance from the SOAR play, "Behind Closed Doors," unveiling stories of domestic violence, hope and survival
[Providence, RI] The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) today announced the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by launching its NO MORE campaign at a press conference in the State House.
"RICADV is calling for community involvement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. That is the heart of the NO MORE campaign, which asks everyone the question, 'what will you do?' and stresses intolerance to any kind of abuse," said Deborah DeBare, executive director of RICADV. "Every Rhode Islander has a role in preventing domestic violence."
Through the implementation of the national NO MORE campaign, RICADV intends to educate the community in ways everyone can help—the first step being a resounding pledge to say NO MORE to any kind of intimate partner violence. The NO MORE logo is the first unifying symbol to express support for ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Like the peace sign, the "support our troops" ribbon, or the AIDS ribbon, the goal of the campaign is to use the NO MORE symbol to help unify all organizations and people who want to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
In one year alone 12.7 million men and women in the U.S. are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners. That is 24 people every minute. These are people we know—coworkers, neighbors and family members. The six member agencies of RICADV provided community services to 9,694 victims of domestic violence in 2011. With severe state funding cuts having been made to domestic violence programs over the past few years, having the support of state and federal policymakers is more important than ever.
Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin will share the work they are doing in the movement to end domestic violence to an audience that includes survivors, advocates and community members.
With reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) still pending in Congress, many legislators have been petitioning for Senate-passed language that is more inclusive and offers equal protection to all victims of abuse.
The NO MORE campaign is a simple idea with a powerful message, with most major domestic violence and sexual assault organizations across the Unites States behind it—including the U.S. Department of Justice. "Having these leaders support our launch of this national campaign in Rhode Island is right on time and on message," continued DeBare. "We need everyone to partner with us and make the NO MORE pledge."
The Trinity Repertory Company is pledging their support by hosting the upcoming play and signature event of the RICADV Domestic Violence Awareness Month, "Behind Closed Doors." A preview performance will take place at the press conference.
Behind Closed Doors is an original play written and performed by survivors of domestic violence. Mentored by Trinity Repertory Company teaching artists Michael Williams and Francesca Montanile, fifteen SOAR members have created this inspiring performance based on their own experiences with domestic violence, hope and survival.
Also joining RICADV at the launch are Madeline Perreault, president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Rhode Island, and other sponsor representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Dave's Marketplace, Citizens Bank Foundation, Cox Communications, Cumulus Media Inc., and Providence En Español.
"Domestic Violence is a community problem often shrouded by misinformation and an uncertainty about intervention. But it's not a problem that doesn't have a solution. And that's the message the RICADV wants everyone to know. It will be through a collaborative effort between the public, legislators and advocates that domestic violence finally ends. It's time to say NO MORE. Join RICADV and its member agencies in saying NO MORE on October 1—together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault," added DeBare.
More information about the campaign can be found at www.NOMORERI.org.
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the six domestic violence prevention agencies in Rhode Island. The organization supports its six member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island.
SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships) is a taskforce of the RICADV, made up of survivors of domestic violence. SOAR's mission is to promote, advocate and work towards the elimination of domestic violence and to embody and give visibility to the voices of abused women.
WHAT OUR POLITICIANS ARE SAYING...
"The Violence Against Women Act is literally a lifeline that protects domestic violence victims. Without critical support from VAWA and organizations like the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its member agencies, victims and their kids can remain trapped in abusive situations and the cycle of violence continues. VAWA is effective. It saves lives, families, and taxpayer dollars. It should be renewed so we can build on effective programs like the ones at Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence that are making a real difference in people's lives," said Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee which oversees federal funding for the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women programs.
~ Senator Jack Reed
"I'm proud to stand with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence as it launches its NO MORE campaign," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "We must work together as a community to raise awareness about domestic violence issues early and often. My SMART Prevention Act, which was included in the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, would support increased domestic violence education, mentoring, and services for teens. I'll keep fighting to make sure that bill becomes law, and I thank RICADV for all of its efforts."
~ Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
"Every individual deserves to live free from the fear of intimidation, victimization or retribution," said Congressman Jim Langevin. "So I commend everyone in the community who continues to fight for this freedom in the face of great challenges. Congress can and must act to make this fight a little easier by passing a fair and comprehensive version of the Violence Against Women Act and I will continue to strongly oppose the proposal by House Republicans that weakens protections for victims."
~ Congressman Jim Langevin
"I am pleased to join the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence to highlight such an important issue," said Cicilline. "I am proud to continue fighting for a Violence Against Women Act that includes strong protections and improves protections for populations that have been underserved by domestic violence programs."
~ Congressman David Cicilline
"In 2011, the Office of Attorney General prosecuted nearly 800 domestic violence felonies. Right now, the office is in the first days of the domestic murder trial of Armando Garcia, who brutally killed his girlfriend Brooke Lee Verdoia in her home while her young child was present," said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. "While there has been much improvement in law enforcement and the prosecution of domestic violence, the murder of Brooke is a stark reminder of the devastation it causes. I applaud the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence for continuing to shine a light on the issue of domestic violence. Through awareness and education, together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault."
~ Attorney General Peter Kilmartin