PSAs Urge Dads, Role Models to Teach Boys that Violence is Wrong

Men teach boys how to hit a baseball, hit the net, hit the receiver, and much more. But are men taking the time to teach boys that violence against women and girls is wrong?

The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), the Waitt Institute and the Advertising Council recently released a new 30-second public service advertisement (PSA) for television that invites men to do so. It is the newest component of the Coaching Boys Into Men campaign, launched in 2002.

“The Coaching Boys Into Men campaign has invited men to be part of the solution by teaching the next generation that violence is always wrong,” said FVPF President Esta Soler. “We are enormously grateful to McCann Erickson San Francisco and the Ad Council for their support, and to the Waitt Institute for its generosity. This powerful new spot will do even more to keep women and children safe by helping stop domestic and sexual violence.”

The campaign is changing men’s behavior. A study by Millward Brown, Inc. and RMA, Inc. found a significant increase in the proportion of men who have taken the action promoted in the PSAs – speaking to boys about violence. Twenty-nine percent said they had done so in November of 2001, before Coaching Boys Into Men launched, and 41 percent had done so in February of last year.

The spots are especially meaningful to parents, 56 percent of whom have spoken to their sons or other boys about the issue. Fifty-seven percent of fathers said they now speak to boys about violence, compared to 29 percent of men who are not fathers.

McCann Erickson San Francisco created the new English-language PSA pro bono; it is available for viewing at The PSAs direct audiences to visit for tips on how to talk to boys about violence against women and girls.

The Ad Council is distributing the PSAs to media outlets nationwide, to run in time and space donated by media. Since 2002, Coaching Boys Into Men has received tens of millions of dollars in donated media and four million unique visitors have come to the campaign website.

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