Response hopes community will show how it ‘cares’ | AspenTimes.com

Response hopes community will show how it ‘cares’

ASPEN – While the ways in which a handful of local men say they show they care about domestic violence vary – “respecting and loving my wife and daughter”; “caring for kids”; “being a good listener” – the message is the same.

“It is time to start engaging men in the fight against domestic violence, because it is not just a women’s issue,” said Jill Gruenberg, court advocate for Response, Help for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. “And while it’s true that most perpetrators of abuse are men, most men are not abusers.

“‘I Show I Care by …’ gives men a chance to stand up and take action.”

The “I Show I Care by …” campaign is sponsored by Colorado Men Making a Difference. Response has joined in by engaging local men in the effort, asking them to pose with a sign featuring the slogan and their way of caring. The pictures will then be posted on Facebook and will be used in fliers, advertisements and other promotional materials.

And though the “I Show I Care by …” campaign kicked off this month – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – the work will continue long after the 31st.

“Getting men, and the community as a whole, involved is a new and exciting direction for us,” said Gruenberg.

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In fact, Response is making a conscious effort to expand its reach and raise awareness about domestic violence in our community. According to Gruenberg, one in four women will be victims of domestic violence. In order to truly help these victims, the entire community must be part of the effort.

“We need to talk about this,” she said. “We need to create a movement so people are comfortable talking about it. We need to do what Komen has done for breast cancer.

“It will take the entire community coming together to affect change.”

So in addition to the nonprofit’s traditional roles of support and advocacy, the nonprofit has embarked on a broad-reaching education and awareness-raising campaign.

The organization offers workshops in the local schools, including Aspen middle and high schools, Basalt High School and the Carbondale Community School.

Response also recently launched the “purple lights” campaign. Banking off the saying, “It’s hard to see the light when you’re living in the dark,” this local effort includes two dozen business that have agreed to display a Response poster, surrounded by purple lights, in their store windows.

“You’ll see them in places like doctor’s offices and therapist’s offices, but also in downtown businesses,” Gruenberg said. “The purpose is get the message out in places people go in their daily lives. Because domestic violence is part of many women’s daily lives.”

And like the “I Show I Care by …” campaign, the idea behind the purple lights is to create awareness.

“We need to create an environment where survivors feel safe in talking about their experience,” Gruenberg said . “The first step in doing this is raising awareness.”

jmcgovern@aspentimes.com