Education and Public Awareness
JDI, alongside its member programs, strives to inform and reframe the public’s understanding of these issues. Our work with the media, awareness campaigns, and other public education efforts help make victims safer and increases the likelihood of prevention and social change. Another aspect of our education work aims to expand and enhance the knowledge and capacity of JDI staff, JDI members, and other professionals working with survivors, victims, and offenders. We coordinate trainings and produce materials that integrate current best practices and address the needs of different cultural communities.
The media is a powerful player in shaping the public’s understanding of the causes, prevalence, and solutions to sexual and domestic violence. In turn, engaging the media and advocating for thorough and accurate reporting is a critical function at the Coalition. JDI’s reputation as a solid source for commentary and analysis results in frequent contact and a strong relationship with the media. We also connect the media with local programs for on the ground perspectives and expertise.
Notably, our “2003 Domestic Violence Homicide Report” identified particular gaps and concerns regarding media coverage of homicides. Beyond the sensational, reporting overall did not pay enough attention to questions about domestic violence warning signs, systems response, and access to services that could help explain why these homicides occurred. With the help of members of the media, JDI developed a Coalition Protocol in Response to Domestic Violence Homicides as well as a Media Guide on the Reporting of Domestic Violence Homicides. These resources for local programs, law enforcement as well as the media have helped to shift the dialogue whenever a domestic violence homicide occurs.
Awareness and Prevention Campaigns
We must shift the social norms wherein violence thrives in order for our society to support victims and end violence. These issues are bigger than the Coalition or any one of our member organizations. Every person in the Commonwealth is affected by these issues either directly or indirectly. As the statewide coalition, JDI works to create opportunities that welcome our supporters and the general public to learn more about the issue and demonstrate their own commitment to preventing and ending sexual and domestic violence.
To help us raise awareness and mobilize widespread support that will lead to social norms change, JDI is:
- Engaging men and boys through the Men’s Initiative for Jane Doe Inc. in community organizing, education and advocacy efforts such as Massachusetts White Ribbon Day
- Developing an evidence-based approach to primary prevention of domestic and sexual violence
- Participating in nationally recognized awareness months for Stalking (January), Sexual Violence (April), and Domestic Violence (October)
Publications & Curriculum Development
JDI develops a variety of tools to help staff and volunteers at local programs and other professionals provide the best services for victims and survivors, their family, friends, and co-workers. In addition to offering an array of trainings, JDI produces curriculum and other materials that help ensure standards and consistency around knowledge and practice. For instance, JDI maintains an updated training manual for the core staff and volunteer curriculum for Massachusetts rape crisis centers, including a new medical advocacy chapter on HIV/AIDS. Other curriculum, such as one on intimate partner sexual assault and disabilities curriculum, is widely used.