The Ad Council and national nonprofit Futures Without Violence launched a national public service campaign called #TeachEarly highlighting the pivotal role that men play in preventing domestic and sexual violence.

Video: Teach Early

The campaign launch coincides with the release of the Ad Council Domestic Violence Prevention Continuous Tracking Study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Of the men surveyed, 89 percent agreed that it’s important for men to talk to boys about violence against women and girls, while only 37 percent reported speaking to a boy they know about violence against women in the past six months. The campaign encourages men to recognize this dissonance between their beliefs and actions, and teach boys to respect women with the same enthusiasm and dedication in which they teach them other things.

Launching to coincide with Father’s Day, the campaign encourages fathers, uncles and other male mentors and role models to talk to boys at an early age about healthy relationships and respect for their peers — particularly towards women and girls. #TeachEarly kicks-off with nationally-distributed public service advertisements (PSAs) narrated by actor and father Forest Whitaker underscoring the importance of male role models in shaping perceptions and attitudes toward gender-based violence.

#TeachEarly is comprised of national television, radio, digital and outdoor PSAs. The campaign directs audiences to TeachEarly.org where men can find valuable tools and resources, including a digital Playbook with tips and conversation starters to help engage boys in a discussion about relationships, respecting women, and preventing violence. The website also features a digital quilt that celebrates inspiring teachable moments between fathers and other male mentors, and the boys in their lives — sourcing photos from the public with the campaign’s designated hashtag: #TeachEarly.

“An estimated one in four women in the United States will experience violence by a partner in her lifetime,” said Futures Without Violence Founder and President Esta Soler. “Perceptions about women and girls are often shaped at a young age, and we know that prevention is key. Fathers and male mentors — from sports coaches and teachers to uncles and brothers — have the opportunity to reach out to these young people and reinforce the message that violence against women is never acceptable.”

The Ad Council and Futures Without Violence are longstanding partners on the issue of domestic violence prevention, having launched the first-ever national campaign in 1994 titled “There’s No Excuse” followed by an effort in 2001 to specifically engage men in the issue.

“The issue of domestic violence is increasingly a part of the national conversation,” said Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman. “We want to transform the negative news stories into something more productive and powerful. By providing fathers and mentors with tips and tools on how talk to their sons and other boys about healthy relationships, we strive to change the way that young men think about how to treat women. Men play an invaluable role and this campaign will empower them to be advocates for change.”

The new TV PSAs were created by RSA Films. iHeartMedia is providing support across male-targeted programming beginning today through the end of the month. Additionally, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas developed the out-of-home creative and will donate advertising space in key locations and Team Detroit is providing media outreach support.

“We at RSA Films are proud to be part of such a strong and important message,” said Jules Daly, President of RSA Films.

“iHeartMedia is once again teaming up with the Ad Council to help positively shape future behaviors and attitudes of our country’s youth, motivating our listeners to take action and providing valuable resources to help them promote nonviolent relationships now and in the future,” said Jessica King, Director of Community Engagement for iHeartMedia.

The campaign has been funded through grants provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Blue Shield California Foundation and The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. The Ad Council Domestic Violence Prevention Continuous Tracking Study was based on a non-probability based online panel sample of men aged 18 and older, who had a personal or professional relationship with boys aged 5 to 17.

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