Topic: Safety Initiatives
Nationally, Alaska ranks second per capita in homicide of women by men and first in rape, which is why KTVA-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, has dedicated extensive on-air time to the subject of domestic violence. From information on obtaining legal protection if in an abusive relationship to the issue of elder abuse, the station dedicated its "Break the Cycle" segments to different aspects of domestic violence for a three-month period. Playing off the Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) acronym, the station produced a series of "Are you awake?" public service announcements asking viewers to open their eyes to the problem. During October, Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, the station produced and aired nearly $10,000 worth of announcements for AWAIC. The station also inspired an outpouring from viewers when it broadcast an on-air donation drive to provide the AWAIC shelter with needed items. "Per a public opinion survey done last year, 89 percent of Alaskans are concerned about interpersonal violence," said Judy Cordell, executive director of AWAIC. "KTVA has responded to that concern and has become an active partner by airing the victim hotline number, promoting awareness of services and linking donors with the mission." KTVA’s commitment earned the station a Victims for Justice Media Award. Each quarter, KTVA dedicates its "Break the Cycle" news segments to a problem of major local concern. In addition to domestic abuse, the segment has been dedicated to alcohol addiction, child abuse and the emergence of gangs.