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NEW Celeb PSAs Call on Men to Say #IWILLSPEAKUP

*Disclaimer - I was able to get the questions answered in this post by actor Danny Pino, through a document form, thanks to Joyful Heart Foundation's help. 

Are you looking for ways to help men to raise awareness and SPEAK UP against violence?


I was honored to be able to write up some questions in hopes of getting answers by an actor, several from my favorite TV show, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. This PSA Call on Men to Say #IWILLSPEAKUP is very, very important to spread the word about. 

It's very crucial for men to speak up about violence and sexual assault towards women, and it could even save her life in some situations. 

Here is a statement by Maile M. Zambuto, National Chief Executive Officer of Joyful Heart and Ted Bunch, Co-Founder of A Call to Men: http://joyfulheartfoundation.org/blog/speak-up .

I found out that actor Danny Pino who plays Detective Nick Amaro on the show who was in the Celeb PSAs Call on Men to Say #IWILLSPEAKUP, was able to answer my questions which I am sharing with you in this post.



Questions for #IWillSpeakUp

1. What resources are out there that can help to educate young and adult men alike to stand up against violence against women, whether that is sexual assault, abuse, and harassment?

Some men don’t even realize they have a platform, but we all do. All men have friends, colleagues, family members, and young men and boys in their lives that they can talk to about healthy, respectful manhood. 

As part of the new #IWILLSPEAKUP PSA campaign developed by the Joyful Heart Foundation in partnership with A CALL TO MEN, we are asking men to commit to speak up and speak out, and to break the silence about violence and abuse with six actions:

1. Reflect. Think critically about the messages you have received about manhood, women, and girls. Challenge and deconstruct the way you have been socialized to view women as objects, property, or having less value than men. Invite other men to do the same.

2. Model. Live by the principles of healthy, respectful manhood that values women, girls, and those of us who do not conform to a gender binary. Embrace and express a full range of emotion and don’t conform to the pressure to always be in control. Be an example of healthy and respectful relationships for the young people in your life.

3. Value. Listen to women and validate their experiences. Don’t use language that denigrates women and girls. Help the young men and boys in your life to develop an interest in the experience of women and girls outside of sexual conquest.

4. Support. When a survivor shares their story with you, listen without judgment. Let them know you believe them, it is not their fault, and they are not alone.

5. Speak. Men’s silence is as much a part of the problem as the abuse itself. Use your influence and platform to speak out about these issues. Hold your leaders, institutions, and systems accountable. Let your voice be heard that you support survivors and take these issues seriously.

6. Give. Despite the prevalence and impact of this violence, organizations working to address the problem are severely underfunded. If you can, give to an organization working to support survivors, and prevent violence and abuse. Volunteer at a local shelter or rape crisis center, or donate supplies on their wish list.

Additional resources are available at joyfulheartfoundation.org and acalltomen.org . 

2. How do you explain the importance of this PSA to young men who may still be in their teens or early adulthood who may not get why these issues are such big things that need support from men too?

Most men and boys are not abusive. But far too often, they are silent about the abuse committed by other men. Their silence is as much a part of the problem as the abuse. Sometimes just starting a conversation might help change—or even save—someone’s life. That begins with each of us. 

Unfortunately, more and more young people are learning about this violence at an early age:
- Five children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect. 
- 24 people every minute—more than 12 million women and men a year—are victims of physical violence, rape, and stalking from their partners. 
- 1 in 6 men experience sexual abuse before the age of 18
- 60 percent of Americans know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. 
- More than half of women (58 percent) who have come forward to tell someone about their experience say that no one helped them. 

It is critical for men to take an active role in raising the level of conversation. It’s been an honor for me to be a part of a number of the PSA campaigns created by the Joyful Heart Foundation under the leadership of my dear friend, actor and activist Mariska Hargitay, and to be able to use a number of different opportunities to reach new audiences, and in particular men and boys.

The PSAs address the myths and excuses we so often hear that blame survivors and excuse perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault (like “What was she wearing” or “But he’s such a nice guy”). The PSAs call on bystanders to end the silence and inaction of Americans in responding to domestic violence and sexual assault (like: “I’ll say something next time”).

In “IWillSpeakUp, I think it is powerful to see an all-male cast speaking these lines; making it clear that we all have a responsibility to speak out and stand up. I think that young men need to see their role models demonstrating this behavior, and encouraging them to emulate it.

3. What things as women can we do to support our friends, family members who are male, and spouse to be more supportive within the community to help speak up about these important issues?

If women and men work together, we can transform society’s response to this violence. Together we can challenge—and ultimately change—the entrenched attitudes and beliefs that have allowed and supported sexual violence for so long.

But our message in “IWillSpeakUp” is specifically from men, to men and boys. For too long, society has relied on those who have experienced violence to be the brave ones to speak out, stand up, and confront the problem or perpetrator. We can’t let survivors bear the burden alone any more. It’s time for all of us—especially men—to pick up the torch, and to sustain the fire of bringing about far-reaching cultural change.

My hope is that we will seize this moment to engage men and boys to see their own opportunities to make a difference in this work. To stand up and stand with survivors of this violence.

4. As a father, what is the main thing you want to teach / talk with your son about to help make sure he is supportive of these issues from the start?

The best way I know to prevent my sons from becoming abusers, assaulters or harassers is by being present, interested and involved in their lives. When speaking to my sons, I encourage them to treat everyone with respect and dignity. 

The most effective lesson is modeling positive, inclusive, supportive and empathetic relationships and interactions. “Do as I say, not as I do,” often perpetuates the cycle of abuse, assault and harassment. When adult men speak out in support of survivors and promote cultural and societal change in our treatment of women, it serves (I trust) as a template for my sons and other young boys. 

Additionally, the best way I know to protect them from becoming victims of abuse, assault or harassment is creating awareness by having ongoing, open conversations (however uncomfortable) about being the best advocates for their own bodies and keeping an open line of communication about any issues that may occur, giving them confidence, empowerment, a vocabulary, a set of expectations and a means to address any concerns.

Watch the video for the Celeb PSA Call on Men to Say #IWILLSPEAKUP

 

15 comments :

  1. How important it is to get men involved. It will be beneficial for them as well, as men can also be victims of abuse.

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  2. This is quite the interesting campaign. I think it was a good idea to get men involved in spreading this message to their kids.

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  3. What an encouraging campaign. I think that it's important we all speak up and out against anyone who is being treated poorly. It's so important we, as a society, start speaking up and defending our human being neighbors. What a great campaign to participate in!

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  4. It's so empowering to see men standing behind women who have been mistreated. I love that people like Danny Puto are using their status to show that behavior like this is wrong.

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  5. What a great campaign to help men realize that we all play a part in protecting ourselves, our families, our communities. Grateful there is someone willing to spearhead this to get the word out.

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  6. I hope more men get involved because of this message. I love that he is lending his voice to this important cause.

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  7. My husband and I were just talking about something similar. Men really do need to speak up more!

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  8. I love this. I think it's very important for men to be involved. This is a great campaign!

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  9. As sad as it is that it's so prevalent, it's wonderful too that it's coming to a head now and people are being revealed who have abused others. It's wonderful to see people supporting people and building them up.

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  10. This is such an amazing campaign. I would love to see more men like Danny Puto speaking up like this!

    Louise x

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  11. These are great messages to pass along. It's super important to speak up if you want things to change!

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  12. What a great campaign and a way for Men to get involved. It's so important to speak up!

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  13. I love him especially on law and order that i so cool that you got to interview him

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  14. Oooo what a great campaign!!! Very smart to get men involved!!! Everyone really needs to speak up

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  15. What a great topic and how exciting to get to interview an actor you like for your article!

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