The Asha Project’s new “Saving Our Sisters and Saving
Ourselves (SOS)” campaign aims to decrease violence
among Black women and offering trauma informed support
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The City of Milwaukee continues to experience increasing incidents of domestic violence (DV), intimate partner violence (IPV) and homicides related to DV/ IPV. A new study from The Asha Project, an initiative with the state coalition, End Domestic Abuse WI, recently found that trauma and systemic inequities, such as economic stress and financial challenges, are key factors that lead Black men to commit acts against their female partners.
The study is part of the organization’s Saving Our Sisters and Saving Ourselves (SOS) public awareness campaign, which focuses on reducing domestic and intimate partner violence and related homicides committed against Black women, who represent the largest group losing their lives. The campaign utilizes the universal distress signal “SOS” and social media messaging to alert the community of services and resources available for Black men who may be struggling with depression, anger, and anxiety in relationships as well as a history of trauma.
“The spikes in domestic violence and intimate partner violence were exacerbated by the multi-faceted effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that disproportionately impact Black Americans and other communities of color,” said Antonia Drew Norton, Director of The Asha Project. “Our goal is to effectively disrupt this cycle of violence towards Black women while also providing Black men with the mental health resources and support that they need.”
The SOS campaign is guided by Dr. William Oliver, a content expert researcher at the University of Indiana, who conducted focus groups with Black males in Milwaukee. The focus groups were crafted to enhance understanding of how men who reside in inner-city neighborhoods in Milwaukee view the causes, justifications, and consequences of domestic violence and community violence in neighborhoods experiencing the highest rates of fatal and non-fatal violence.
The full report can be found in the SOS Campaign Report. For more information on The Asha Project and to download the report visit, ashafamilyservices.org.