'Ring the bell' and curb domestic violence

'Ring the bell' and curb domestic violence

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by Erica Heartquist, KGW Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 6:47 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 8:58 AM

PORTLAND - Violence against women is more common than many might think.

One of every nine women in Multnomah County was assaulted last year, according to the Gateway Center for Domestic Violence Services.

Across the United States, more than three women a day are murdered by their husband or partner, the group said.

Now there's a provocative new ad campaign drawing attention to how the "good guys" can intervene.

The ad is disturbing, and it's supposed to be. The idea is to encourage everyone to do something about domestic violence.

The advertisement starts with a man cleaning his motorcycle. He is distracted by a screaming woman being beaten by her husband nearby. The man walks into the building and rings the doorbell. The screams stop and the husband opens the door. The man asks the husband to use his phone, but when his cell phone in his shirt pocket rings, it's evident the man had used the phone as an excuse to intervene.

At the end of the piece, a voice says: "Bring domestic violence to a halt. Ring the bell."

"One of the things that I think they really capture is how nervous the men look as he's ringing the bell, recognizing that what he's doing is out of the norm, to stand up and to intervene," said Rebecca Nickels, Executive Director of the Portland Women's Crisis Line.

Nickels has tweeted the ad and is trying to pass along its message. So have millions of others around the world.

This month, the campaign was launched in the United States by several men including Russell Simmons, former NFL quarterback Don McPherson, Richard Branson and actor Patrick Stewart, to name a few.

"It's a choice that a man makes. We can choose to stop it," said Stewart.

Nickels said since the majority of men are not perpetrators, the "good guys" have a very important role to play.

"There are a lot of really good, healthy men out there, so when men do intervene and stand-up against this kind of violence, they have a huge impact in ending it," she said.

"Sure, I'd ring the bell," said Portland resident Bill Dickas.

So would Samuel Dallas of Portland.

"I think it's right on. I think that men can get uncomfortable because we might feel like women can take care of themselves. But in that case, it doesn't matter. It's a person," he said.

Help is just a phone call away.

The Portland Women's Crisis Line will pick up 24-hours a day: (503) 235-5333.

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