Categorized | Health

‘Hawaii says no more’ to domestic violence


More than one dozen of Hawaii’s leading government and non-profit organizations announced a new statewide initiative, Hawaii Says NO MORE, a unprecedented effort to raise visibility, create awareness, encourage conversation and break the social stigma surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault.

Child and Family Service Hawaii, the Department of the Attorney General, the Department of Human Services, Parents And Children Together, Catholic Charities and the Windward Spouse Abuse Shelter are only some of the groups across the state that are leading Hawaii Says NO MORE.

“It’s really unprecedented and encouraging to see a number of like-minded organizations, representing the public and non-profit sectors, come together for a single cause” said Maureen Kiehm, program specialist from the Hawaii State Judiciary.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are two of the most widespread problems in our communities. The numbers are similar to other parts of the nation and staggering.

In our state, 50,000 women are victims of domestic violence each year. On average, every day more than 500 victims seek support from domestic violence shelters; 1 in 7 women in Hawaii are survivors of sexual assault, that’s 67,000 women.

“And yet these crimes are severely under-funded, under-researched, misunderstood and are on the margin of public priorities and concerns. More distressing, those impacted – your family, your neighbors, the guy you play basketball with, your child’s best friend – remain burdened by debilitating shame and stigma.”said Kathy Freire, Co-Director of the Family Violence Shelter, YWCA of Kauai.

“Our greatest hope is that Hawaii Says NO MORE will break down the barriers of stigma, silence and shame that prevent people from talking about the issue and taking action to prevent it,” said Marci Lopes, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and member of the collaborative.

The launch of the new initiative comes during “Hawaii Says NO MORE Week,” which runs March 8-15 and includes efforts and events across the state.

In honor of Hawaii Says NO MORE Week, Honolulu Hale and the IBM building, part of Ward Village, will light their respective buildings the NO MORE blue color all week.

Statewide, supporters are encouraged to download the Hawaii Says NO MORE Challenge sign from the website, write why they are saying NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault and upload a “selfie” with their sign to their social media with the hashtag #HawaiiSaysNOMORE.

A selfie station has been set up at Red Pineapple at Ward Center for the entire week.

The local initiative is part of a national effort, NO MORE, launched in 2013. Peace has the peace sign; the red ribbon demands action for AIDS; the pink ribbon has changed how we think about breast cancer.

Now, for the first time, hundreds of organizations across the country and our state, including the US Department of Justice, companies, celebrities and influencers, universities and communities have come together under one symbol, one sign, one beacon: NO MORE.

Since its debut, this new unifying NO MORE symbol has been seen everywhere from Air Force 2 to the NBA, the NFL, Nascar tracks and on the red carpet of the Golden Globes.

The NO MORE PSA Campaign was spearheaded by the Joyful Heart Foundation, a local organization founded in Hawaii 10 years ago, and directed by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay.

It features more than 70 celebrities and public figures asking bystanders to get involved.

“Through a series of statewide focus groups, local communities clearly stated that they wanted NO MORE to come to Hawaii by reflecting the specific social and cultural milieu of our island home — everyone wanted a local version of the national PSAs and – thanks to Hawaii New Now – that’s what we’ll be able to do.” said Kata Issari, Vice President, Hawaii Region, of the Joyful Heart Foundation.

The Hawaii Says NO MORE PSAs will be produced, pro bono, by Hawaii News Now, and directed by Hargitay.

“We are very proud to bring NO MORE to the islands. We want to make sure our unique local voices are represented with integrity and the importance the issue deserves” said Rick Blangiardi, general manager for Hawaii News Now.

Schedule of Events

* Friday, March 13

UH Hilo Celebrates the Launch of Hawaii Says NO MORE (Hawaii Island)

University of Hawaii at Hilo, Campus Center Plaza, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by UH Hilo Student Health & Wellness Program

The following is a full list of organizations guide Hawaii Says NO MORE:

* Catholic Charities Hawaii
* Child and Family Service
* Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
* Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women
* Hawaii Youth Services Network
* Joyful Heart Foundation
* Parents And Children Together
* State of Hawaii Department of the Attorney General
* State of Hawaii Department of Human Services
* University of Hawaii at Hilo Student Health and Wellness Program
* University of Hawaii at Manoa Office of Gender Equity
* Windward Spouse Abuse Shelter
* Women Helping Women of Maui and Lanai
* YWCA of Oahu

— Find out more:

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