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RESPECT! Campaign Launch Rallies Nation to Use Virtual Voices to Speak Out Against Abuse

Submitted by: Crossroads

Categories: Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Sep 19, 2008 – 11:04 AM EST


Family Violence Prevention Fund and Macy's use mobile and online technology to create a national conversation about domestic and sexual violence

Sep. 19 /CSRwire/ - SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – September 19, 2008 - The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and Macy’s will ask the nation to join in marking the first annual National RESPECT! Day(SM). A newly designated observance, National RESPECT! Day will launch a multi-year movement, in partnership with Macy's, designed to raise awareness of domestic and dating violence and to encourage positive discourse about prevention by teaching respect.

The launch, which will include employee rallies at more than 600 Macy's stores and on 135 college campuses nationwide, will invite the nation to join the movement by donning the official RESPECT! bracelet and getting out their cell phones to Text RESPECT!SM.

The RESPECT! bracelet, available exclusively at Macy's and on macys.com, is available for $5 with half of the proceeds from the sale of each bracelet benefiting the RESPECT! Campaign.

Also, advocates can further demonstrate their support for the movement by texting the keyword "respect" to 41010 – for a goal of 10 million acts of respect for the 10 million children who witness violence in their homes each year1. By doing so, people will be mapped on GiveRespect.orgwhich will be populated by the minute with respect acts across the country.

Participants can also choose to donate $5 via their mobile phones to support the FVPF, one of the nation's leading organizations working to prevent and end violence against women and children, and can invite a friend to join the movement as well.

Why Virtual for a Very Real Cause?
"This is a groundbreaking campaign that will generate greater involvement than we've ever seen before on this issue," said Esta Soler, Founder and President of the FVPF. "We are so grateful to our partners, Macy's, Sugar Inc., and the Mobile Giving Foundation, for bringing powerful new technologies to the work to stop domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. The unprecedented reach these partners – and these technologies – provide will do a tremendous amount to build awareness and promote solutions that prevent violence before it begins."

The FVPF began looking at social media and mobile marketing tools as a new vehicle to engage and mobilize a younger and broader audience in a national dialogue about these issues. For many, this may be their first engagement on violence prevention.

"When the FVPF was established in 1980, the organizing tools that are available today did not exist," Soler added. "Now we can supplement traditional outreach with Facebook-to-Facebook, and cell phone-to-website initiatives. People are concerned about violence and want to take action, but not everyone has a lot of time available. The RESPECT! Campaign will reach people where they are and leverage the power of a cell phone to make a difference. These new mobile and online tools will help us educate and engage new audiences so we can build a foundation of awareness, advocacy, and respect to keep future generations safe."

Respect is central to the FVPF's mission to end violence. One in three women worldwide2 and countless families across this country experience domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Yet, these issues often are hidden and out of public view. In order to create a groundswell of public support for programs that focus on prevention, the FVPF needed a big partner – and Macy's answered the call.

Macy's Joins the Rally
The FVPF has teamed up with Macy;s – which has a longtime commitment to ending abuse, but is now putting its consumer-friendly platforms to work on the issue. By doing so, the RESPECT! Campaign will have elevated exposure to educate and involve Americans on a larger scale.

"It is a tragedy that, in this day and age, so many families in this country are torn apart by domestic violence," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy's, Inc. "At Macy’s, we know that domestic and sexual violence affect the lives of too many of our associates, customers and communities. We felt it was our responsibility to take a stand and do more to elevate the conversation and to educate and inspire Americans by speaking up and providing unique ways to get personally involved and support the cause."

As part of its continued work to end violence against women and children, Macy's will support the campaign in three primary ways in its first year:

  • Serve as the exclusive retailer of the official RESPECT! bracelet, with half of the proceeds
    from the sale of each bracelet benefiting the RESPECT! Campaign.
  • Include the Family Violence Prevention Fund in Macy’s annual Shop for a Cause event on
    Saturday, September 20.
  • Roll out a nationwide employee education/resource program with Family Violence Prevention Fund this September to equip each of its stores to support employees that may be experiencing abuse in a relationship.
A World Without Abuse

"Respect is an essential building block for healthy communities and strong societies," Soler added. "It is my dream that we'll be able to look back on this first annual National RESPECT! Day and the launch of this campaign as the beginning of a new kind of social movement that will help end violence against women and children."

Funds raised from the RESPECT! Campaign(SM) will support education, awareness and training programs that prevent and end violence against women and children by building strong, healthy families and communities.

Visit GiveRespect.org today to learn more and become part of the change.

About the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF)
For more than two decades, the Family Violence Prevention Fund has been one of the world's leading organizations working to prevent violence against women and children. Instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by Congress in 1994, the FVPF has continued to break new ground by reaching new audiences including men and youth, promoting leadership within communities to ensure that violence prevention efforts become self-sustaining, and transforming the way health care providers, police, judges, employers and others address violence. For more information, visit www.endabuse.org.

About Macy's

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Offering distinctive assortments including exclusive fashion and home brands, Macy's stores are operated by four regionally based retail divisions – Macy's East, Macy's Florida, Macy's Central, and Macy's West – and an online store at macys.com. For Macy's media materials, please visit our online pressroom at www.macys.com/pressroom.

Thanks to our partners for helping us reach millions nationwide with this important message:

  • Social media partner, Sugar, Inc.
  • Collegiate partners Alpha Chi Omega
  • California business partner Blue Shield of California
  • Workplace training partners Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • And special thanks to the Mobile Giving Foundation and Mobile Accord, Inc.

For more information, please contact:

Annie Arnold Barkley
Phone: (816) 423-6066


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