The Issue: Domestic violence and sexual assault affects Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals at far greater rates than the average, and many support services meant to provide safety and resources are often inaccessible to Deaf survivors.
The Effort: #whowillanswer was an awareness and crowdfunding campaign launched in 2014. Organizers used their website, Facebook and Twitter to share videos and photos including statistics to highlight both the prevalence of violence within the community and the inaccessibility of resources for Deaf violence survivors. The goal of the yearlong campaign was to raise $250,000 for a full year of funding for a nationwide, 24/7 hotline staffed by Deaf advocates.
The Audience: #whowillanswer aimed to not only raise awareness among the general public of the needs of this underserved population, but also to increase specific involvement within the Deaf community in the United States.
The Result: The campaign videos and the statistical photos of the Deaf survivors quickly went viral throughout the Deaf community when they were released, however #whowillanswer has not yet met its goal to raise $250,000 for a full year of funding a nationwide, 24/7 hotline staffed by Deaf advocates.
The Bottom Line: A woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the United States, with Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals facing even higher risk. Addressing the needs of specific populations will help communities respond to and prevent violence. Learn more about rates of domestic violence in the U.S. here.
The Next Level: There are many organizations in the United States working to prevent and respond to domestic violence, but more must be done to connect those at risk to these services. Expanding access to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which offers policy and outreach programming to respond to domestic violence in the United States, will give even more survivors the chance to get help.