The iPledge Impact
Learn all about iPledge's origins & impact
Women Against Abuse first launched iPledge as a public awareness initiative in 2008. It's mission is to inform city residents about the ways in which they can have a real impact in shaping domestic violence outcomes in Philadelphia. iPledge is centered around the importance of effective bystander intervention as key to overall violence prevention.
Women Against Abuse hosts an iPledge press conference launch each October in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It gathers community leaders, domestic violence advocates and the public at large on an annual basis to rally community support.
Through the years, iPledge has served as a robust advocacy and awareness tool that propels Women Against Abuse’s work of ending intimate partner violence. It has provided a platform for Women Against Abuse's advocacy and systems change work, rallying the community around the need for increased resources and interventions for people experiencing domestic violence. For example, the iPledge Campaign was instrumental in doubling the number of emergency safe haven beds for survivors of domestic violence in Philadelphia. In Fiscal Year 2013 Women Against Abuse was forced to turn away nearly 9,000 requests for shelter at its 100 bed emergency safe haven, which consistently operated at full capacity. Through the years, Women Against Abuse has worked with city officials and community partners to address this significant safety concern. The organization initiated media coverage, testified at budget hearings and focused attention on the issue at the iPledge press conference. As a result, City Council funded a second emergency domestic violence safe haven that will double Philadelphia’s shelter capacity for survivors and their children! The new facility opened in July 2014, allowing Women Against Abuse to provide a safe refuge to an additional 600 women and children each year. This victory was due in part to the community awareness generated through iPledge. It is an example of the powerful change that is possible through this campaign.
Today, the iPledge Campaign is helping to create a coordinated community response to domestic violence in Philadelphia. Women Against Abuse is working with Philadelphia stakeholders to create a coordinated community response to domestic violence that will prevent abuse and promote victim safety citywide. According to the Blueprint for Safety, “When work is coordinated across agencies and within agencies, the overall capacity to protect is increased.” The coordinated community response will lead to more effective identification, intervention and prevention of domestic violence. It will ensure that, regardless of where a victim enters the City’s systems (emergency room, courts, etc.), she/he would be linked to the appropriate resources and receive an immediate supportive response. Women Against Abuse and commissioners from the Department of Health and Opportunity recently completed a citywide strategic planning process to create this coordinated community response to domestic violence. Implementation of the plan will require strategic communications to city employees and the community at large, and the iPledge Campaign can be used to roll-out these vital messages to ensure buy-in.