To challenge people to see domestic violence for what it truly is, we replaced the word “domestic” with vivid, truer descriptions of the criminal acts that perpetrators commit to maintain power and control over survivors.The truth is, though, that for a goal this ambitious, public service announcements simply weren’t enough.
Leaning in to the cultural zeitgeist
In October 2019, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we hijacked the month’s scariest holiday to expose a scarier reality. By taking a fun, seasonal attraction and turning it on its head, the Real Haunted House of Monroe County gave our community a firsthand look at the abuse that haunts survivors year-round. Held in the most public of places—the Rochester Public Market—we turned an old bakery into an immersive, one-day, pop-up experience. While picture-perfect with a picket fence on the outside, the inside told a truer reality of power, control, manipulation and coercion—a reality that represents thousands of homes possessed by domestic violence in our community.