The images are startling and that's the point. A woman, her left cheek bruised, has the following message dripping out of her nose like a stream of blood: "38% of battered women will be victimized again within six months." Another shows a young girl with two massive welts on her back. "Last year, 1 in 12 high school students was beaten by a person they were dating," is printed boldly inside one of the bruises.
New York City unveiled a new public service advertising campaign designed to encourage victims of domestic violence to get help. "Last year, domestic violence was responsible for nearly one out of every eight homicides in our city," Mayor Bloomberg said on May 18. "What's just as disturbing is that almost none of these victims ever called the city's domestic violence hotline," Bloomberg said at a City Hall press conference with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Yolanda Jimenez, commissioner of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, along with playwright and activist Eve Ensler.
The ads, which urge victims or loved ones to call 311, will appear in English and Spanish on subways, buses and other sites around the city. Postcard-sized copies will be distributed at nail salons. Ensler also helped put together a two-week program - funded with private dollars - to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.
"Until The Violence Stops: NYC," which will run from June 12-27, will feature musical and theatrical performances, and celebrities will include Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell, Kathy Bates and Diane Lane. One of the theatrical events will benefit the city's Family Justice Center in Brooklyn.
According to the city, police officers handle 600 domestic violence-related calls each day. Most of the victims killed in domestic violence incidents had no order of protection and had not previously contacted police.