New billboards in Greenfield raise awareness of domestic violence

  • In consideration of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, there are two new billboards on display in Greenfield — one in English by CVS Pharmacy on Federal Street, pictured, and another in Spanish by the underpass on Deerfield Street. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Report
Published: 10/6/2020 2:18:36 PM

GREENFIELD — In consideration of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, there are two new billboards on display — one in English by CVS Pharmacy on Federal Street and another in Spanish by the underpass on Deerfield Street.

The billboards state that 93 percent of Greenfield residents surveyed would intervene if someone was being abused. They also advise to call 911 or the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition’s (NELCWIT) 24-hour hotline at 413-772-0806 if you or someone you know needs help.

According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the messaging was developed through a social norms campaign sponsored by Mayor Roxann Wedegartner’s Task Force on Domestic Violence.

“The task force surveyed Greenfield residents in order to learn more about the community’s attitudes on domestic violence and knowledge of local resources available to victims,” said task force Chair Mary Kociela. “We intend to utilize the findings to inform task force outreach and education efforts going forward.”

The survey results showed that 90 percent of people surveyed know how to define abuse, according to the release. However, results also indicate how pervasive intimate partner violence is, with 72 percent of those surveyed stating they know an adult who has been in an abusive relationship and 47 percent stating they know a child who has been the victim of domestic violence in their home.

When asked if individuals know of any programs, agencies or community groups to go to for help, 38 percent responded “no,” reflecting a need for further education, the release states. With this in mind, posters will also be displayed on social media sites and community bulletin boards, with information on who to call for help in Greenfield and Franklin County.

According to the release, partial funding for the project came from City Council.

“We hope people will see the billboards and be inspired to help each other if someone is in need of services,” said City Council Vice President Otis Wheeler, who is also a member of the Task Force on Domestic Violence.

“Supporting victims of domestic violence in our community is incredibly important,” Wedegartner said. “I’m hopeful this awareness campaign will help during a time when isolation and stress can make things worse and our relationships more tenuous. I’m thankful for the efforts of the task force and look forward to helping to get the word out.”

The survey, findings and summary report can be found at bit.ly/3ifsphO.




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