Sexual assault coalitions are hard at work trying to raise awareness about the impact of crises on rates of sexual assault while also maintaining consistent messaging about availability of services and the importance of supporting survivors. Below and attached are resources to help coalitions and local programs navigate their ever-evolving communications plans.
- The Opportunity Agenda's COVID-19 Messaging Resources
- The Opportunity Agenda's Talking About Coronavirus: Centering Language around Inclusion, Empowerment, and Values
- Frameworks Institute's "Framing COVID-19" communications tips
- NJCASA's Best Practices on Issuing Statements on Service Delivery Changes during COVID-19 (attached)
- NJCASA's Impacts of Crises on Sexual Violence (attached)
- ACESDV's "thank you advocates" social media graphic (attached)
- NCCADV's language around avoiding "re-opening" message frames
- The Center for Survivor Agency and Justice Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Domestic & Sexual Violence Survivors Survey
- Victim Rights Law Center infographic on increased survivor legal needs
- Victim Rights Law Center infographic on spike in child sexual abuse
- Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence report on COVID-19's impact on survivors of sexual violence in Ohio
From coalition communication call notes:
What and how are coalitions communicating with the media?
- Sending out public statements to advertise that victim service programs are still open and operating, letting folks know how survivors can get support
- Doing FaceTime interviews with media
- Highlighting how checking in with people is still a form of prevention and highlighting policy issues such as the importance of broadband access and internet connections in general
- Sample coalition messaging plan:
1) triage: trying to limit the number of emails that are sent to the membership, executive directors/program directors and other lists. to the extent we can we will aim to bundle information or make it available online.
2) consistency: we have a weekly email that goes to the full membership on Mondays. We will aim to continue with that practice to help maintain some sense of routine and familiarity. these emails continue information about upcoming meetings, webinars, policy updates and thanks to Tara (our communications and outreach coordinator) the emails also contain inspiration. this month we are focused on Women's/Womxn's History month.
3) social media: as pointed out in that communications in crisis document last week, we don't want to add to the noise or overwhelming bombardment of disease related posts. so we're aiming for a balance that provides relevant information, updates regarding services in Massachusetts and that programs are still open, with some content that has nothing to do with the virus.
4) traditional media: doing an interview in a few minutes with a local station that wants to talk about the impact this is having on people who experience abuse. our current message is:
- be clear about our concerns without causing alarm
- talk about working with our partners in government, hearing from programs
- doing all we can to ensure the least disruption of services possible
- remind people they can still reach out for help
- acknowledge the ways that the private sector is stepping up to support the non-profit sector.
5) we are holding weekly calls with all the exec/program directors