Dear Oakland Community:

Did you know that ethnicity and race are related to domestic violence? Oakland is a diverse community which means that there is a high probability of domestic violence. This needs to stop and you can help. 

Based on research, domestic violence is a problem in the community that should be addressed and everyone should be educated on this topic in order to know how to fight against it; It is the silent killer.

Domestic violence needs to be addressed and talked about because anyone can be affected and people need to know how to fight against it. According to the article Addressing Domestic Violence Against Women: An Unfinished Agenda written by Ravneet Kaurn and Suneela Garg who work for the Department of Community Medicine, they state, “Domestic violence against women is an age old phenomenon. Women were always considered weak, vulnerable and in a position to be exploited. Violence has long been accepted as something that happens to women. Cultural mores, religious practices, economic and political conditions may set the precedence for initiating and perpetuating domestic violence, but ultimately committing an act of violence is a choice that the individual makes out of a range of options.” (Garg, Kaurn). Oakland is a diverse community, there is a variety of cultures, ethnicities, and race here. Unfortunately some of those cultures, ethnicities or races have normalized domestic violence and violence in general. Although anyone can be affected, female identifying people are typically the gender that is most affected because many cultures have carried the idea that men are supposed to be dominant and stronger than women for many years. This idea is extremely degrading and if children see that their parents are fighting and there’s nothing being done about it then they will begin to think that it is acceptable and they will normalize it. Many abusers become abusers because there was violence in their home while growing up or there was a parent missing, if a kid sees violence in their home often, then they too will have a high chance of becoming abusers. This means that there will be even more violence in the future. This can be stopped by being educated,  by being educated you can help the people being affected by domestic violence, whether it be by convincing them to get out of the relationship, which can be difficult or giving them resources and helpful advice.

Domestic violence needs to be addressed as an issue that affects everyone because we can fight against it and we can stand up against it. The article We need to stand up to domestic violence written by Cathreen Killedjian who is an experienced multimedia journalist with a history of working in online media. She is also a social media manager and has a masters degree focused on journalism from USC and a Bachelor’s degree in english and communications from Loyola Marymount University. She explains, “Domestic violence is not a women’s issue; it is everyone’s issue. Women are not the sole receivers of domestic abuse — men are affected by it greatly as well”  (Killedjian). Everyone is affected by domestic violence, it is not only one gender’s issue.  If we keep portraying domestic violence as a women’s issue, then people of other genders won’t know if what they are experiencing should even be considered domestic violence. 

Moreover, part of understanding that it affects everyone is that it needs to be talked about more so it can be prevented. Killedjian states, “Since there is a lack of dialogue about it, most people also remain unsure of whether what they are going through even merits the term ‘domestic violence.’ We need to open up our society’s dialogue about domestic violence so that we can provide support for those who are being affected by it every single day. Abuse is a cycle, and we need to provide a way to stop it.” (Killedjian). Domestic violence affects everyone and everyone needs to be involved in standing up against it. People are also uneducated, they don’t know about resources in Oakland that could help their situation and it isn’t their fault for not knowing this, this topic of domestic violence isn’t really talked about so it’s not a surprise that people aren’t aware of this. Also since this topic isn’t really talked about, people don’t know if what they or someone else is going through is even considered domestic violence. 

We surveyed 27 teens and adults in the Bay Area about their thoughts regarding Domestic Violence. Many people said that some ways to prevent domestic violence is to educate and bring awareness to the issue, as well as providing clinics/shelters and counseling. They were also asked who was affected and a majority said that everyone is affected which is a positive idea because they know that everyone should be involved in preventing domestic violence, but we still need to educate the rest of the Oakland community because we only surveyed a small percentage of Oakland.

Figure 1: Is Domestic Violence A Big Issue? 27 Oakland  Residents were asked if they thought that domestic violence was a big issue. 22.2% said yes and 74.1% said maybe which shows that they probably aren’t sure. 

Figure 2: How many people do you know who’ve been affected? 27 people were surveyed about the amount of people they knew who were victims of domestic violence. 15 people knew someone who had been a victim and 9 people didn’t. 

Figure 3: Do you know someone who’s been affected Vs. Race. We asked people of different races if they or someone they know have been affected by domestic violence. Many people in our community know someone who has been affected and no matter what race they are, this shows that domestic violence affects everyone. 

It is clear that our community still needs to be informed about what resources are available to people in the bay area, specifically the Oakland  community. There needs to be more education surrounding domestic violence and prevention. Looking at the data from figure 2, it is clear that we need to fight against domestic violence.

Based on the community data and research, it is clear that the Oakland community needs to be more educated on domestic violence and they need to know where to go for help and resources. 

Aim #1 Virtual: Educate the Oakland  Community About Domestic Violence and Where to Get Help and Resources 

It is important for the Oakland  community to know where to find help and get resources to help them or someone who is being affected by domestic violence. In the survey data, a multitude of people said that they were not sure if there were resources in Oakland  that could be useful. Due to this data, we will use the tactic of social change which is media and propaganda in order to educate Oakland  about where to find resources related to domestic violence in order to help someone who is a victim. Many of the people in our community weren’t sure if the resources that are currently in Oakland  were helpful or maybe they just weren’t sure where to find them, but this shows that people need to be enlightened about where to go for help and how useful the resources are. In order to spread awareness and let people know where to find help, we will post on different social media platforms  in order to target different age groups because different age groups use different platforms. We will use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook because those are the most well known apps in which we can really spread awareness to this topic and target different age groups.  In order to get the most attention, we will post twice a day on evenings during the week and on weekends about three times a day on evenings as well. We will post on evenings since we are in shelter in place many people wake up at a later time. The only supplies we will be needing is our cellular devices. This will have no cost but we do expect some impediments. Some challenges that we may come across will be that since the people that use social media the most are teens, they won’t find this topic interesting and ignore the posts. 

Aim #2 if Shelter in Place Ends: Host an Event so People can Come and Talk to Professionals and Get More Information.

We want our community to be more informed about the help that victims can receive or how to help someone who is being affected by domestic violence. It is important that our community feels comfortable speaking to someone, especially a professional or someone who is really educated on this topic. We will be using the tactic of social change which is community organizing in order to host an event where professionals and people who have knowledge on domestic violence can come and educate the Oakland  community. This event will be extremely  beneficial to the Oakland  community and people will hopefully be more enlightened about this issue. We would need to have a fundraiser because this event will cost around $1000-1500. We need this money to pay for the venue, chairs, tables, and food. Some challenges that we may face could be that we won’t be able to raise enough money, or we will have a difficult time convincing people to come, whether it be community members or the professionals that we need in order to educate our community.

Aim #3 if I had unlimited funding and access: Create more shelters/safe spaces for victims to go

 Not only do people need to know how to fight and stand up against domestic violence, but people need to know where a safe place to go is (shelters), especially if they don’t have a family member or a friend that can temporarily give them a place to stay. According to DomesticShelters.org which is an online and mobile searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada, they have helpful tools for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence. They state, “There are currently 5 domestic violence and abuse shelters and programs in Oakland , CA with 5 offering a hotline and 3 offering emergency shelter” (DomesticShelters.org). There are only 5 domestic violence shelters and programs, many people don’t know about these shelters, which shows that people need to be more educated and there needs to be more shelters closer to where domestic violence is mostly reported. If people don’t know where a safe place to go is, they’re going to be stuck in that harmful, dehumanizing relationship. There not only needs to be more shelters but also places where people who are trying to help victims can go to get helpful resources and become educated. In these new shelters we will have medical staff present at all times, counselors to make sure people feel safe and translators and staff that speak different languages because Oakland is diverse and many different languages are spoken here . These shelters will also have a cafeteria and day care. There will be separate rooms for people with children and depending on the person’s health status we will determine if they should share a room with someone else. These shelters will be built in areas that are high in crime and where domestic violence cases occur the most. We will also  want to create language focused shelters in order to ensure that people are comfortable where they’re staying.  A challenge that may occur is that people will be scared to come in and ask for help.

We will measure success by looking at how many followers we get on our social media platforms and how much recognition each post gets. We will also measure success by looking at how many people are willing to donate and fundraise money to host our event. This is quantitative and qualitative data because we will look at the amount of people that donate money, and the amount of followers and likes we get on our accounts and also the feedback we get on our event and the comments regarding our domestic violence posts. We will know that our actions are successful once we are able to host our event and our social media accounts get recognition by people all over the bay area. 

Thanks to our wonderful Oakland  community for listening. We hope to make a change in Oakland and we hope that we help prevent domestic violence in the future. #StopDomesticViolence #FightDomesticAbuse #EveryoneIsAffected

Work Cited

Kaur, Ravneet, and Suneela Garg. “Addressing Domestic Violence against Women: an Unfinished Agenda.” Indian Journal of Community Medicine : Official Publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, Medknow Publications, Apr. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784629/

This article was about how domestic violence affects health and especially reproductive health. It also explains what leads to domestic violence and how it affects children. It gives a plethora of detail about this topic and it was published by the US National Library of Medicine,National Institutes of Health.

Killedjian, Cathren. “We Need to Stand up to Domestic Violence.” Los Angeles Loyolan, 2 Nov. 2018, www.laloyolan.com/opinion/we-need-to-stand-up-to-domestic-violence/article_00c9f37d-17d7-5b55-b62f-63ecab4d7df6.html.

 This article talks about a silent protest held by Belles Service Organization in front of the Loyola Marymount University’s library. It talks about what was said at the protest and feelings that arose during the protest. It ends with the author explaining how everyone is affected by domestic violence which means that everyone should help fight against it.

“Oakland , CA Domestic Violence Help, Programs.” DomesticShelters.org, Theresa’s Fund, www.domesticshelters.org/help/ca/Oakland

This website talks about domestic violence shelters and emergency shelters all over the United States and Canada. It talks about many different topics regarding abuse. It also gives articles, books and more resources to those who are victims or who are trying to help a victim.

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