WICHITA, Kansas – Super Bowl XLIX’s second quarter ended with a revolutionary 30 second commercial spot. The focus of the advertisement? Domestic violence.
The ad is based on a real 911 call placed by a woman pretending to order a pizza in an effort to fool her attacker who is still inside the house.
Watch the 30 second commercial spot here:
The ad on Super Bowl Sunday is timely and arguably, necessary. This, after one of the NFL’s worst seasons.
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It is the first-ever Super Bowl commercial that puts domestic violence on television’s largest stage. The NFL reportedly donated time for Sunday’s 30 second spot, worth about $4.5 million.
After the league’s season, however, that spot donation came as no surprise for many viewers.
The ad brings attention to the issue that has become central for the NFL since Ray Rice was suspended for punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator. Video from the casino’s elevator had flooded social media.
KSN sat down with Kim Pennington, the director of Sedgwick Co. 911 dispatch, to watch the Super Bowl commercial together.
“It happens,” explained Pennington, “and you’re trained to deal with those situations, where you pretend to be somebody else to help your victim on the phone.”
“If it happens to somebody, your neighbor, it’s not all over the news. When it happens to an NFL player, it’s all over the news,” said Pennington. “So, let’s be more aware of our neighbors, our family members, and friends, and get them the help [they need].”
“It doesn’t have to be taboo,” she continued. “There is assistance out there.”
According to Sedgwick Co. statistics, this training is imperative for 911 dispatchers.
KSN requested dispatch call data to learn more about exactly how many domestic violence calls are placed with the county.
In 2014, Sedgwick Co. dispatchers received over 22,233 domestic violence calls.
To put things into perspective, 87% of the calls Sedgwick Co. dispatch receives are law enforcement calls. 10% are medical calls, and 3% are fire/rescue calls.
Kim Pennington tells KSN that Sedgwick Co. dispatch receives more domestic violence calls than any other classification. The other top calls are disturbances, suspicious character calls, and audible alarms. Pennington says they each ran approximately 21,000 for 2014.
For Pennington, the call featured in Sunday’s commercial, reminded her of a call she took years ago as a dispatcher.
The hope is the commercial will shed light on just how common domestic violence really is, no matter individual circumstances.
“Domestic violence has no boundaries,” said Angela Lampe, the executive director of YWCA Wichita, the women’s crisis center. “It’s one of the epidemics that we are faced with that honestly, no matter race, age, sex, socioeconomic status, it is prevalent, it is there.”
Lampe says Sunday’s ad is a great way to start the conversation.
“That’s the reality so many people face. Whether we acknowledge it or have recognized it yet, our friends, our neighbors, we have folks that we all know that are experiencing that type of abuse,” said Lampe.
The largest piece of advice area advocates offer for witnesses of domestic violence: Speak up.
YWCA of Wichita, Women’s Crisis Center, has a 24-hour hotline for victims of domestic violence.
Call 267 – SAFE, or 267 – 7233.
Individuals can call the hotline to speak with a trained advocate. Callers can speak with these advocates for assistance in developing safety plans.
The crisis center also has shelter available for victims who are at a point where they are ready to leave the situation. Advocates can assist in transporting victims, getting them into shelter, and in working with them to leave the abuse and moving forward in a safe life.
Annually, the crisis center serves about 200-250 individuals in shelter alone, including women and children. Through the center’s outreach services, the center serves another 900-1,000 every year. The center’s hotline answers 200+ crisis calls per month.
To read more about YWCA Wichita, click here.
Harbor House Domestic Violence Shelter & Outreach Services at Catholic Charities also has a help Hotline.
Call (316) 263-6000 if something about your relationship scares you, or you have worries about your children.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Wichita website, all services are free for clients.
The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence is a state organization that, for the past 30 years, “has been the leading voice on sexual and domestic violence in Kansas.”
Kansas Crisis Hotline: (888) END-ABUSE / (888) 363-2287. This hotline is also available for victims of domestic violence who want to be put in touch with an advocate who can talk about safety and victims’ available options. According to kcsdv.org, “All conversations with advocates at these resources are strictly confidential.”
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at: 1(800)799-SAFE.
For more information about NO MORE, visit their website, NOMORE.org, and take the pledge to say ‘No More’ to domestic violence and sexual assault.