Washington, D.C. (September 29, 2012) - Saving Promise, a national grassroots domestic violence advocacy organization, and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication convened a summit of communications and prevention experts to brainstorm how best to get Americans to think differently about domestic and intimate partner violence on Saturday, September 29, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.

In a December 2011 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, and that intimate partner and sexual violence are widespread public health problems affecting millions of Americans. The cost has been estimated to be $8.3 billion a year in lost productivity and health care costs, and some violence against women studies have suggested that the full economic impact is much higher.

“Americans can no longer ignore the widespread incidence of domestic and intimate partner violence and the significant toll these incidents put on individuals, families and communities,” said founder of Saving Promise L.Y. Marlow. Marlow started the domestic abuse organization in response to her personal experience with four generations of domestic violence in her family. “We all need to acknowledge the role we have in preventing this public health crisis that more likely touches someone in our own life, even if we don’t know whom,” she added.

The summit brought together communication and prevention specialists, advocates, and non-profit leaders, with graduate students and alumni of Georgetown University’s master’s program in public relations and corporate communications to build the strategic framework for a domestic violence prevention awareness and action campaign. VOX Global, a bi-partisan public affairs and communications firm, conceptualized and served as facilitator for the event as part of its pro-bono community service commitment.

“Today’s effective public health campaigns leverage the power of social media to raise awareness, inspire action and ultimately change individual behavior,” said VOX Global Managing Director Ann Davison. “However, taking the time to identify the messages that are relevant, believable and compelling remains a critical first step for any advocacy campaign.”

By bringing together experts in prevention and social impact communication to advise Saving Promise on the direction of that messaging, Davison hoped to increase the likelihood of crafting effective messages that can be tested with target audiences later this fall.

“We live in a media-saturated environment with many causes and issues vying for our attention,” said Denise Keyes, senior associate dean of Georgetown’s Division of Professional Communication. “The question we tried to answer is what innovative communications techniques and proven social impact communications strategies can Saving Promise use to break through all that noise.”

With insights and recommendations from the summit, Saving Promise will launch its public awareness and advocacy initiative in 2013, starting with a pilot in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and expanding to other communities based on the early learnings.

Use #iPromise and #DV to join and follow the conversation on Twitter and follow @SavingPromise to get updates on the event.

About Saving Promise
Saving Promise is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to domestic violence prevention and awareness. It was founded when L.Y. Marlow discovered her twenty-two year old daughter was trapped in an abusive relationship that also threatened her granddaughter, a little girl named Promise. Her story is about four generations of mothers and daughters who survived more than sixty years of domestic violence. She founded Saving Promise with the intention of doing just that-saving Promise, which blossomed into a vision for the nation.

About the Center for Social Impact Communication
Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) is the nation’s leading educational resource on social impact communication. Launched in 2008 and housed in the award-winning Master of Professional Studies program in Public Relations and Corporate Communications, CSIC aims to elevate the discipline by pioneering industry standards in responsible communication practices and by educating and inspiring the professionals who lead the way in creating positive social impact through their work.

About VOX Global
VOX Global is a public affairs and strategic communications firm. With decades of experience navigating the intersection of business, politics, media and advocacy, our professional team works in concert with our clients to develop influential communications programs impacting public policy and the global marketplace. We help our clients shape the future. VOX is headquartered in Washington, D.C.