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Cleveland resident discreetly leaving cards in bathrooms, other public places for domestic violence survivors to find

Posted at 4:05 PM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 19:13:06-05

FOR SOMEONE WHO MAY NOT FEEL SAFE AT HOME, small cards no larger than a business card may be the first big step towards getting help. — For someone who may not feel safe at home, small cards no larger than a business card may be the first big step towards getting help.

"There isn't a woman with a bruised eye on the cover," said Kate Vander Tuig, who works Futures Without Violence, the nonprofit that makes the cards. "So they're trying to be discreet but also inviting and something that folks would want to pick up."

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Cards cater to all different kinds of people. This one is specific to new parents.

Vander Tuig's mom was too shy to talk about the unofficial work she's been doing: ordering hundreds of the cards at a time and leaving them all around Cleveland for the people who need them to find.

"She'll go around the neighborhood in Cleveland and just put them in bathroom stalls at restaurants or grocery stores or gas stations," said Vander Tuig. "She'll come back and they're gone, so people are using them."

Kate and her mom
Kate and her mom look through the cards on Christmas Eve. Kate's mom orders the cards and leaves them in locations around Cleveland and nearby states when she travels.

After the holiday season, Vander Tuig says it's especially important work. She says some reports show that domestic violence is more common during and after the holiday season.

The Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center told News 5 they don't see a big increase in calls around the holidays, but they say family stress mixed with alcohol around the holidays can always lead to problems.

card open
The small cards open up to show multiple pages that can help survivors of domestic violence decide to get help.

"While these are not causes of intimate partner violence, they could make someone maybe more likely to use violence," said Molly Kaplan from the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center.

Kaplan says survivors also might be more reluctant to ask for help during the holidays.

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Cards are also made for young adults, the LGBT community, and many other groups, while also being printed in other languages.

"They may actually be more reluctant to call over the holidays because they don't want that person to be incarcerated over the holidays," said Kaplan.

The cards are specific to all kinds of different people, like students in college, the LGBT community, new mothers, and many more available in a handful of different languages.