District Attorneys (DAs) may be most recognized in business suits in a courtroom, but during the month of October, DAs across the state of Oklahoma rolled up their sleeves and got out in the community to help raise awareness of domestic violence.
Across all 77 counties, 27 DAs in Oklahoma joined together to launch District Attorneys Against Domestic Violence in collaboration with Verizon Wireless. The initiative was timely. In 2013, Oklahoma ranked third in the per capita for the number of women murdered by men in a single offender incident, a significant increase from being ranked 17th in 2012.
This program brought awareness programs into communities across the state. Each DA received a DA’s Against DV toolkit to guide them through hosting HopeLine drives and to host screenings of the Verizon Foundation’s documentary “Telling Amy’s Story.”
The HopeLine phone re-use and recycling program turns no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for domestic violence victims and survivors. “Telling Amy’s Story” chronicles the life of a young mother and former Verizon employee who was killed by her husband as she was trying to leave their abusive relationship. The story educates viewers on subtle signs of domestic violence and the struggle that victims face in trying to mask their situations or pursue help.
“Domestic violence is a devastating and growing issue in every county of Oklahoma,” said Eddie Wyant, president of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association. “By bringing these programs to Oklahomans, we hope to raise awareness and bring community members together – from police officers and teachers to stay-at-home parents and farmers – to learn about the signs of domestic violence and resources for victims.”
The goal of this collaboration was to begin conversations about domestic violence throughout the state, especially in the more rural areas where people may not be able to attend some of the larger events focused on raising awareness of domestic violence each year. The results of the collaboration have far exceeded expectations. Nearly 60 HopeLine drives and “Telling Amy’s Story” screenings have taken place across the state.