The month of February is filled with hearts and flowers but there are those who find themselves in situations that are far from loving and they are trapped in abusive relationships.
While it’s clear that physical abuse is dangerous, abuse can also be emotional with a controlling spouse or partner who delivers cruel words to: “Fear Me,” “I Own You,” or “You Are Nothing.” Emotional abuse can, after time, strip one of all confidence.
“Domestic Violence Has No Place Here” — a public education campaign launched last fall by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — is intended to generate awareness and honest conversation about a frequently-hidden crime, as victims often suffer in silence.
Now the campaign is releasing new ads aimed at young people for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, with an emphasis on social media.
One in three teens is a victim of dating abuse.
“Love and abuse never go hand-in-hand. We have to keep shining a light on domestic violence, because it is a crime that lives in the shadows and causes pain that too often goes unnoticed and unreported,” Garcetti said.
The campaign, developed in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department, pairs romantic tropes — from boxes of chocolates and teddy bears, to hand-scribbled love notes and personalized jewelry — with starkly contrasting messages about control and violence. The juxtaposition sends a powerful
message to anyone who has been impacted by emotional or physical abuse in an intimate relationship — including victims, abusers, and witnesses.
The ads include such provocative copy as “You may now hit the bride” on a backdrop of white lace; “Roses are red, violets are blue, don’t tell a soul I hit you” on familiar lined notebook paper; and “If I Can’t Have You, No One Will” nestled amongst rose petals. On another ad, smartphone text messaging streams go from familiar hearts and a friendly check-in to angry icons and controlling messaging demanding to know, “Where are you?”
The ads, will be featured on bus benches and bus shelters in English and Spanish. Angelenos can find extensive information about domestic violence, including teen dating abuse and sexual assault, online at www.NoDVLA.org.