The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade Launches Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign

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“Domestic Violence in Times of COVID-19” offers those in need a helpline for support

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The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade has launched “Domestic Violence in Times of COVID-19,” an extensive awareness campaign to let those who are experiencing abuse know that services are available 24/7, and to encourage them to escape, report, or seek the services they need through the Miami-Dade County’s Coordinated Victim’s Assistance Center (CVAC) helpline. Although there hasn’t been an overwhelming increase in reported domestic violence cases in Miami-Dade since shelter-in-place orders were issued, calls regarding domestic “disturbances” went up to 1,830, a jump of nearly 20 percent from March 2019 in unincorporated Miami-Dade, police reported in April. The fact that cases aren’t officially being reported doesn’t mean domestic violence isn’t happening.

Sponsored by Citrus Health Network and with the support of The Judge Amy Karan Legacy Fund, the campaign has been adapted to English, Spanish and Creole, and includes roadside billboards, bus shelters, bus wraps, Metrorail stations and interior cards. Domestic violence is considered a public health and a safety issue, which is why The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade has worked closely with survivor leader groups, advocates and service providers in order to ensure that the campaign truly speaks out to those in need and makes a lasting impact.

"There is a strong link between domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. Both kinds of abuse can occur simultaneously, and domestic abuse can interfere with the ability of the parent who is being abused to properly care for their child, leading to neglect,” said Citrus Health Network Director of Communications, Leslie Veiga. “Witnessing and experiencing abuse is stressful and traumatic for children, which can lead to short-term and long-term behavioral, psychological, social, and emotional concerns. The COVID-19 pandemic has been very stressful for families. That stress builds on itself and increases the possibility of there being abuse in a home. Recognizing these unique and unprecedented circumstances, Citrus has partnered with The Women’s Fund to raise awareness about resources and assistance available to help families in our community."

To raise funds to continue with the campaign beyond July 2020, The Women’s Fund has also designed an innovative custom Instagram filter to encourage people to donate, post their picture and share. The filter generates the messages “Speak Up Against Domestic Violence,” “If Staying Home is More Dangerous, Speak Up.,” or “Domestic Violence. See It. Hear It. Stop It.” in the form of a face mask, and is available in English, Spanish and Creole. “We used the messages as face masks to represent the current situation of those who feel silenced and trapped at home with their abusers, encouraging them to get help and providing the number to call or text 24/7,” said The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade Programs and Operations Director, Carolina Garcia.

Through this campaign, The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade wants to make sure that people know that services are available 24/7, and to encourage them to escape, report, or get assistance. “Being at home because of COVID-19 does not mean having to endure abuse as there is help,” said Director of Miami-Dade County's Coordinated Victims Assistance Center and Bureau Chief of Miami-Dade County’s Violence & Prevention Division, Ivon Mesa.

In addition, CVAC, as well as all service providers and law enforcement, are following CDC and health officials guidelines. If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence, please call or text the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center at (305) 285-5900, help is available 24/7.

To learn more about the campaign and instructions on how to show support and donate, please visit us here.

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Note to Editor

For high-resolution images of the campaign, please click here.

About The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade

For over 25 years, The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade has worked to improve the lives of women and girls through action, advocacy, investment in grassroots organizations, and collaborative initiatives that impact across our four core pillars of economic mobility, leadership, health & well-being, and freedom from violence. Our vision is a world where power and possibility are not limited by gender: Women Strong, World Strong. To learn more about The Women's Fund Miami-Dade, please visit https://womensfundmiami.org/

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Jacobo Waincier
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