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'COURAGE to End Domestic Violence' Initiative

'COURAGE to End Domestic Violence' Initiative
Sept. 26, 2014

Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5160
Megan Marquett, Media and Communications, mmarquett@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5051

City Launches 'COURAGE to End Domestic Violence' Initiative Oct. 3

"COURAGE to End Domestic Violence" is a City of Tacoma initiative to help raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence and the network of services available to help victims. Deputy Mayor Victoria Woodards will lead the COURAGE to Break the Silence Rally at noon Friday, Oct. 3, at Tollefson Plaza (South 17th and Pacific Avenue).

The COURAGE Initiative will debut Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the Tacoma City Council Meeting with a proclamation and presentation. The launch of the COURAGE initiative corresponds to October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and provides the opportunity to introduce the initiative’s two awareness campaigns – “Men Against Domestic Violence” and “A Step in the Right Direction.”

The two City campaigns are designed to bring attention to the need to expand the discussion about domestic violence and address it as an issue that is built into the culture, said Pam Duncan, the City’s contracting services manager.

“The ‘Men Against Domestic Violence’ campaign puts emphasis on the important role men have in challenging other men to build healthy relationships and speak up when they see or hear something that is unhealthy,” Duncan said.

In discussions with community providers and experts, City staff heard compelling research and narratives that men were often missing from the domestic violence discussion.

“Men need to stand up and be a voice for ending domestic violence,” Deputy Mayor Victoria Woodards said. “Too often domestic violence is portrayed as a ‘women’s issue’ but it is really an everyone issue.”

To help highlight the need for all voices, “A Step in the Right Direction” campaign showcases eight shoes or pairs of shoes decorated by domestic violence survivors from Tacoma. The shoes are part, of a collection that will be displayed at COURAGE events in October and on the City’s Facebook page starting Monday, Oct. 6.

The community is encouraged to like and share its favorite shoes from the eight featured. The three artists who receive the most votes will be recognized by the City and the winning shoes will be donated to the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center and YWCA Pierce County’s joint supporting auction. 

In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the City has planned and partnered with local nonprofits to offer a variety of events starting Oct. 1 and concluding Friday, Oct. 31 at noon in Tollefson Plaza with COURAGE: the Silent Rally.

For more information about the initiative and events, go to cityoftacoma.org/COURAGE.