Campaign aims to educate about domestic violence

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from the Brandford Expositor

Posted By MICHELLE RUBY, EXPOSITOR STAFF

Get ready to Make the Call. A city committee is preparing to officially launch a public awareness campaign that encourages people to pick up the phone to help victims of domestic violence.

At a meeting Thursday, the mayor’s task force on domestic violence got a first look at promotional items, including notebooks, pens, fridge magnets and emery boards emblazoned with the Make the Call logo and telephone number — 519-752-HELP.

The Make the Call campaign is meant to educate family, friends and professionals about domestic violence. It will give instruction on the warning signs of abuse and provide information about what people can do when they are victims of abuse or suspect someone is being abused.

“We want the community to get together to identify (domestic abuse) and do something,” said Joy Freeman, executive director of Nova Vita Women’s Services.

The Make the Call phone number connects with Nova Vita, but Freeman said that, if needed, staff there will direct callers to other local services.

The promotional material, paid for with a grant from the provincial Trillium Foundation, will be distributed to schools, churches, community service groups and through other channels, said Freeman.

There are also plans to sell, for $2, re-usable tote bags with the Make the Call logo. The money will be re-invested in projects initiated through the mayor’s task force.

Also being discussed is a “hairspray campaign” that would involve training employees in beauty salons, spas and other businesses who have “intimate contact with women” to recognize the signs of domestic abuse in their clients.

The mayor’s task force on domestic violence was formed in 2006, following the deaths of Fallon Mason, a city mother of two, and Jared Osidacz, an eight-year-old city boy. Mason was found slain in her north Brantford townhouse in March 2006. Less than a week later, Jared was killed by his father.

Freeman said the Make the Call campaign will be officially launched in April or May.

“We just want people to call — and we’ll help.”

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