Twenty years ago, we realized a need to educate our community about the extent, and often-deadly consequences, of domestic violence. In response to this need, and after a challenge by the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas, I founded the P.E.A.C.E. (Putting an End to Abuse through Community Efforts) Initiative. Our mission is to give members of the community the opportunity to become actively involved in stopping domestic violence in San Antonio. Over the past 20 years, more than 48 organizations and agencies, along with numerous individuals, have dedicated their time and talents to help create change for those hurting.
While we have made great strides over the course of our organization’s history, the battle is not over. Research from the Texas Council on Family Violence showed that in 2009 alone, 111 women across Texas were killed by an intimate partner or boyfriend. The victim’s ages ranged from 13 to 83, revealing no one is too young or too old to be affected by domestic violence. About a year ago, the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative challenged the community of San Antonio to broaden and embolden its outreach efforts, and on Thursday January 6, 2011, we launched our P.E.A.C.E. at home digital billboard campaign.
We are non-profit and for-profit agencies, municipal government leaders, statewide program directors; all proud to be working together to stop the violence that plagues families.
We created billboards for the whole community to view through a collaborative effort with Clear Channel Outdoor, the San Antonio Police Department, Southwest Airline’s Christine Ortega, and Assistant City Manager Erik Walsh, as a way to inform citizens that ending family violence is a responsibility that belongs to all of us. The billboards displayed messages such as “Family Violence – Don’t Pass it on” and “Hitting Mommy is child abuse.”
We are proud of all the positive feedback the campaign has received thus far. State Senator Carlos Uresti stated “Clear Channel's generous donation of billboard time will keep the message out there for everyone to see. It will be a new front in efforts to curb the cycle of violence that begins at home.” Clear Channel General Manager Luis De la Torre went on to further state “this project has come together as a labor of love by many dedicated and caring community leaders. Being able to communicate hope and options to families who need help due to domestic violence is both an honor and a responsibility.” Finally, Gloria Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence “commends the San Antonio community for the tremendous leadership in advancing this campaign.” Together, we can create an awareness that inspires the community to facilitate change!