POWERFUL NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS DEPICT PLIGHT OF
WOMEN & CHILDREN WHO FACE ABUSE, URGE AMERICANS TO HELP
STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
New Free Materials Offer Safe, Effective Ways To Intervene
To Help Battered Women And Their Children, And Urge Public
To Take A Stand Against Abuse
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- A pajama-clad child sits alone and
frightened on the stairs. His angry father is screaming,
threatening his mother. The child plays with a toy truck
as his father s shouting grows more menacing. Suddenly,
the child stops playing and cringes as his father hits his
mother. The words appear: Children have to sit by and
watch. What s your excuse?
That scenario is depicted in a powerful new public service
announcement (PSA) for television that was released by the
San Francisco-based Family Violence Prevention Fund (the
FUND). The new television spot, along with new radio and
print PSAs, introduce the second phase of the highly
successful There s No Excuse For Domestic Violence, the
first-ever national public education campaign designed to
prevent and reduce domestic violence.
The campaign, which began in 1994, is co-sponsored by The
Advertising Council. San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (CA) helped unveil the new
spots, which urge Americans to call the FUND s new toll-
free number -- 1-800-END-ABUSE -- and learn how to safely
and effectively help battered women and their children.
The scene depicted in our new television PSA is all too
common, said FUND Executive Director Esta Soler. Every
day in homes across this nation, women and children are
battered and terrorized. Increasingly, Americans
recognize the terrible toll claimed by domestic violence,
but too few people know how to help end this devastating
epidemic. That is why the FUND has developed these new
PSAs, to give every American a way to enlist in the effort
to stop abuse. There s no excuse for domestic violence,
and no excuse not to help protect women and children who
face abuse, Soler added.
Callers to 1-800-END-ABUSE receive a free copy of Take Action, a
guide to simple, safe and effective actions that can help battered
women and their children. The easy-to-read booklet includes
information and tips on:
Reaching out to women you suspect are being abused;
Helping children who face violence in their homes;
Approaching men you know (or suspect) are batterers;
Teaching young people that violence against women is
Enlisting your health care provider in the effort to stop
Supporting battered women in the workplace;
Assisting battered women s programs and shelters; and
Reaching coalitions against domestic violence in every
In addition to Take Action, callers to 1-800-END-ABUSE receive
black-and-blue There s No Excuse for Domestic Violence bumper
stickers, and victim information cards that outline ways battered
women can protect themselves and their children. The pocket-sized
cards can be distributed in the privacy of restrooms where battered
women can discreetly slip them into a pocket.
Take Action, the victim information cards, and bumper stickers are
all available in Spanish as well as English.
Already the new campaign has won considerable support. Time, Inc.
magazines have committed to run the print spots. NBC has committed
to run the television PSA, as has KRON-TV in San Francisco. U.S.
Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Donna Shalala has
pledged to make Take Action available to employees at HHS, and to
urge her colleagues in the federal government to do the same.
Florida Governor Lawton Chiles will write a letter to all media
outlets in his state urging them to run the PSAs, and showcased the
new television spot at a Children s Summit February 20. In the
first of what is expected to be many corporate commitments, The Gap
will publicize the campaign s toll-free number to its employees.
Working Assets Long Distance, a socially responsible phone company,
is promoting the toll-free number on posters in 800 supermarkets
around the country.
Mayor Brown announced that the San Francisco Police Department will
display posters of the new print PSAs in all district station
houses, and provide bumper stickers and other information to all
its personnel. San Francisco General Hospital and several Bay-area
health clinics will display the ads, offer Take Action in waiting
rooms, and place victim information cards in restrooms. The
California Healthcare Association will distribute posters and
victim information cards to all its members throughout the state.
Members of the Farmworker Women s Leadership Project (Lideres
Campesinas en California) will distribute the Spanish-language
victim information card to women in farmworker communities across
The FUND s new print PSAs each depict a woman with a bruised face.
One, designed to promote intervention with battered women, carries
the headline: While You re Trying To Find The Right Words, Your
Friend May Be Trying To Stay Alive. The other encourages
intervention with batterers. It says: It s Hard To Confront A
Friend Who Abuses His Wife. But Not Nearly As Hard As Being His
One radio spot features a woman admitting her struggle to find the
right words to say to an abused friend. It concludes: I just knew
if I said the wrong thing, I d lose her friendship. So I didn t
say anything. And instead . . . I lost my friend. The other
describes the horror of being stalked by a former husband or
boyfriend. All the new PSAs feature the toll-free number -- 1-800-
END-ABUSE -- and encourage viewers, readers and listeners to call
for the free materials.
Media outlets around the country donated $38 million in free
coverage for the first There s No Excuse For Domestic Violence
PSAs, said Advertising Council President Ruth A. Wooden. These
new spots can make a tremendous difference for battered women and
their children. They deserve equally generous support. The
Advertising Council is distributing the new television, radio and
print PSAs to media outlets throughout the nation this month.
The news conference in San Francisco also featured people who have
intervened to help battered women: Paul Sussman of San Francisco
intervened on behalf of an employee who was being stalked by her
ex-boyfriend; Kimberly Coleman of Washington, D.C. has assisted
five women who are in or recovering from abusive relationships;
Catalina Ochoa of Merced, California helped her pregnant
granddaughter escape an abusive relationship; and Rev. Richard
Price of south New Jersey is organizing a Men s Roundtable in May
to help prevent domestic violence.
The new PSAs were developed by the advertising agency, Hill,
Holliday/Altschiller, which donated its services. The campaign is
sponsored by: The Ford Foundation; The California Wellness
Foundation; Marshalls, Inc.; AT&T; Time, Inc.; and the San
Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, among others. Funding
for Take Action was generously provided by Whirlpool Foundation.
Founded in 1980 by Esta Soler, the Family Violence Prevention Fund
works to improve the health, judicial, law enforcement and public
policy responses to domestic violence.
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