Topeka Advocates working to reduce domestic violence kicked off a public awareness campaign on Wednesday, hoping to get everyday Kansans to help stop abuse.
“There’s something that everyone can do to make a difference -- something as simple as knowing the Kansas Crisis Hotline number, 888-END ABUSE,” said Joyce Grover, general counsel with the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
“Someone you know will need your help,” Grover said.
The coalition and Governor’s Domestic Fatality Review Board started a “Believe It. Help Change It” campaign that includes radio and television public service announcements, newspaper and online ads, and a Web site, www.HelpChangeKansas.com, which features information on domestic violence and resources for victims.
“Domestic violence victims need the concern of the public and adequate laws and services to address their needs,” said former state attorney general Robert Stephan, who chairs the governor’s review board. “Without public awareness, justice will never be achieved for victims,” he said.
In 2008, domestic violence advocacy programs in Kansas provided 62,000 shelter nights and answered 45,000 crisis calls, the coalition reported. Nationally, on average more than three women per day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
And a recent study found that three of every five victims in Kansas do not know where to go for services.
In Lawrence, domestic violence programs are provided at GaDuGi Safe Center and Women’s Transitional Care Services.
The awareness campaign was launched on the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Kansas Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, which Stephan championed. During a news conference, Stephan was presented with a proclamation and a plaque in his name that will be placed by a tree that was planted on the Capitol grounds in 1989 to commemorate passage of the victims rights measure.