Last year, 65 women in the state were killed as a result of domestic violence.
According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 49 of those victims were killed by their intimate partners or former partners.
To increase awareness of violence against women the Dignity and Respect Campaign in March hosted more than 90 volunteers to design and decorate 6-inch by 6-inch ceramic tiles.
“You will see a variety of tiles but combined they make a statement that we wanted to make the women in the shelter know that we care and this would serve as a permanent reminder that we care,” says campaign founder Candi Castleberry Singleton.
The painted tiles were fired and artist Alix Paul then constructed an 88-inch by 46-inch piece of artwork.
Singleton says a goal of the awareness initiative is personal safety. “Whether it’s feeling safe with someone they’re living with, whether it’s feeling safe with someone they’re working with, I think the most important thing is for people to know where to go to get resources before they actually need them.”
According to Singleton, victims need to know they can to friends and neighbors or colleagues for help. “The most important thing is to try to build relationships everyday that I think enable you to feel safe and when you don’t feel safe enable you to be able to tell someone who can help you through the crisis.”
Singleton says the Women’s Center and Shelter has a downloadable app “Are You Safe?” to encourage possible victims to seek assistance. “They can answer those questions themselves and based on your response, you should probably do something about this, and the more you answer the questions that are alarming, obviously the more it will encourage you” to get help.
The 100-pound handmade ceramic tile quilt will be on public display Thursday evening at the Society for Contemporary Craft and then will be installed at the Women’s Center and Shelter.