Public Awareness Campaign 2005
Last Year's Latino Men Speak Out
Last year, more than 100 men and women attended Alianza’s
Men Speak Out Against Domestic Violence event held on April 26, 2005.
More than 100 men and women attended Alianza's Men
Speak Out Against Domestic Violence event on April 26,
2005. The luncheon event, which took place at Tavern on the Green,
in New York City, had three main purposes: to launch Alianza's public
awareness campaign; to give Latino men an opportunity to take a public
stance against domestic violence; and to announce the release of Victor
Rivers Rivas' book,
A Private Family Matter: A Memoir, which chronicles
his tormenting journey from battered boy and angry young man to thriving
athlete, Hollywood actor, domestic violence activist and author.
Rivers, who gave the keynote address and read a passage from his book,
was joined by a slate of other speakers that included Latino media personalities,
elected officials, and community leaders. Among them were: Antonio Martínez,
Anchor/Reporter, UNIVISION 41; Rossana Rosado, Publisher & CEO, El
Diario la Prensa; Commissioner Yolanda Jiménez, Mayor's Office
to Combat Domestic Violence; Commissioner Guillermo Linares, Mayor's Office
of Immigrant Affairs; Mario Bosquez, Co-Anchor, CBS 2 News this Morning
& author of The Chalupa Rules; Rafael Pi Román, Host/Senior
Editor, New York Voices, Thirteen WNET; Joseph Semidei, Executive Director,
St. Christopher's Inc.; Moisés Prez, Executive Director, Alianza
Dominicana; Freddie Ferrer, former Bronx Borough President and current
NYC Mayoral candidate. Adelita Medina, Alianza's Executive Director, also spoke at
the event, and invited people to join the Campaign by signing the pledge
cards that were handed out. Click here for a copy of her speech. The card
asks supporters to carry out at least one of the actions listed in the
coming year to help eradicate domestic violence.
The event was covered widely by major television networks and newspapers.
Click here for news articles.
Click here to view photos
from the event.
Latinas & Latinos Join Hands to End Family Violence
and Create Healthy Families and Relationships
The campaign, which will focus on five cities with large Latino populations
– New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Antonio –
will inform the public that there are laws and services to protect and
help victims who are battered; that help is also available for those want
to stop their violent behavior; and that everyone in our communities (women,
men, and youth) can and should do their part to stop the violence. The
domestic violence community cannot do it alone.
Campaign Goals and Objectives
There are three desired outcomes of the Public Awareness Campaign:
Raise the Level of Awareness/Consciousness. Raise
awareness about domestic violence in Latino communities: its existence,
prevalence, nature, and its damaging effects, and provide information
about individual rights, available options, resources, and services.
Create an Attitude Shift. Generate community concern
about the issue and resolve to not accept it. Get people to think
about domestic violence in a new way: It's not normal; it's inherently
wrong. It's not how people should treat one another. It's not love,
it's not respect, it's not healthy, and it is not a tradition we want
in our communities.
Create Behavioral Change. Motivate targeted communities
to do something about it: Call for information; get personal help;
help a friend, a relative, or co-worker; discuss the issue at home,
school, work, church, and within other community venues.
Ideally the campaign will include the following components (depending
on the funding we are able to secure):
Television: a mix of 30 second and 60 second commercials
or Public Service Announcements (PSAs). To date, in partnership
with Lifetime Television, we have developed one 30-second PSA in Spanish
featuring Lila Downs, the internationally known Mexican-American singer
and in partnership with Univision 4 we have developed three PSAs in
Spanish featuring Victor Rivers, the Cuban-American, actor, author
and DV advocate and Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez, from the NYC Mayor's
Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
Radio: a mix of 60 and 30 second PSAs; appearance
on talk shows. We are planning a radio blitz in partnership
with the Hispanic Radio Network which will broadcast syndicated "radio
episodes" in the 5 targeted regions. These will feature a mix
messages from celebrities, survivors, and advocates.
Print Media: Newspaper and magazine articles, columns,
editorials, letters to the editor, and possibly ads. We will
target major Spanish-language newspapers in the 5 targeted regions.
A poster, developed in partnership with LULAC (League of United Latin
American Citizens, the oldest and one of the largest Latino civil
rights organizations in the country) to be distributed and posted
in the 5 targeted regions with the help of cooperating community-based
organizations, businesses, schools, places of worship, and other agencies
and institutions that serve Latinos/as.
To date, we have helped place 1 article in the April issue of Latina
Magazine; 1 article in the April 21, 2005 issue of The New
York Post; 1 article written & circulated by EFE
(April 26) and 1 article and 1 column in El Diario/La Prensa
(April 27 and May 8, respectively).
Informational Kit: brochure for families, friends,
& co-workers of victims/survivors and batterers; palm card(s);
domestic violence fact sheets; listings of key bilingual programs/services,
hotline numbers, and websites that will be distributed in the 5 targeted
regions through cooperating community-based organizations, businesses,
schools, places of worship, and other agencies and institutions that
Speakers Bureau: diverse speakers (celebrities,
community leaders, survivors, DV advocates, Alianza Board and staff
members, and others) who will make presentations at local, regional
and national forums; schools; universities; and other venues; as well
as on radio and television talk shows.
What is the Main Idea We Want to Communicate?
The overarching message, which we developed, and which we found has resonated
with multiple sectors of our communities, incorporates the following main
idea: We have many beautiful traditions; domestic violence is not one
of them. Tenemos muchas tradiciones hermosas, la violencia
domestica no es una de ellas.
How Do We Know This Main Idea is Right?
We know this is a strong direction to pursue because:
It's positive. It celebrates Latino values of community,
family, passion, and compassion.
It's realistic. Passing on traditions, especially
those that lead to strong and healthy families and individuals within
those families, is something that most parents strive to do. This
particular tradition is about demonstrating respect in ones relationships
with others and respect for oneself as an individual.
It's educational. It helps explain that domestic
violence is unacceptable behavior.
It's inclusive. It is intergenerational parents
to children and children to parents. It works for traditional, bi-cultural,
and assimilated Latinos.
It's emotional, yet rational. There is rich territory
in which to execute this message, but at the same time, the message
It points out the contradiction. It shows why domestic
violence DOESN'T fit in Latino communities. Family is stronger than
machismo/sexism. Heart is bigger than muscle, power, and control.
Compassion is bigger than aggression. Love is stronger than hate.
It's appropriate for Latino communities in the United States.
They are communities that are distinctly aware of and proud
of what makes them strong; what will make them healthy and successful;
and what they can share with the larger society to make it stronger
Other Major Messages
Beyond the underlying message cited above, there are several more key
messages that we can get across in more detail through many of the vehicles/forums
listed above (news articles, columns, editorials, talk shows, brochures,
at public events, etc.)
We want the public to know what constitutes domestic violence, how
they can identify it, and what they can do about it.
We want victims/survivors to know their rights and options and what
services and resources are available to help them create violence-free
lives. Services are also available for batterers who want to
We want to help people define what healthy relationships look like.
We need to help define love. Is it the behaviors and ways of relating
that get transmitted and sold through songs and soap operas?
Does love involve intimacy, support, compassion, commitment, understanding?
We want to get across Alianza's underlying belief in the sacredness
of all relationships and the well-being of our families and communities.
Can we have strong, thriving communities without having safe and healthy
All sectors of society need to take action to prevent and end violence.
Domestic violence is not just a woman's issue. Men can play a very
important role as advocates and role models. Women, men, and youth
need to work together to end violence and to promote healing in our
families and communities. What are some ways of working jointly?
Domestic violence is a societal problem and concern; it is not just
a family problem or a problem of masculinity, but a structural issue
in society. It violates a whole range of fundamental rights human,
civil, economic, social, and cultural. This calls for a broad
and deep analysis that explores the way in which many forms of oppression
and misuse of power including patriarchy interact with one another
and how this intersection affects the occurrence of domestic violence.
Women are the primary targets of domestic violence in heterosexual
relationships, although in some relationships, women are the aggressors.
There is also abuse and battering among lesbian, gay, and transgender
relationships and services need to be inclusive. Service providers
need to address the issue of homophobia and ensure it does not interfere
with the delivery of services.
Women are the primary targets of sexual assault.
There is documented evidence of the overlap between domestic violence
and child abuse. Children of both sexes are victims of physical,
sexual, and psychological abuse. Also if there has been child
abuse of any type, boys and girls should receive the appropriate attention
and help they need to heal.
Girls who witness or experience abuse may grow up to enter into abusive
relationships and become victims as their mothers did, while boys
may imitate the violent behaviors of their fathers in their own relationships.
Because violence may be transmitted from one generation to another,
adults bear a responsibility toward children and young people in preventing
and ending violence. Parents need to model healthy ways of communicating,
relating to each other, and dealing with conflict at home. They
need to stop perpetuating the traditional gender roles that tell girls
they have less value and should be subservient and that encourage
boys to be controlling and domineering.
Men need to assume responsibility for their abusive and violent behavior,
admit it, and take steps to change it, including accessing services
that can teach them about the causes, dynamics, and consequences of
violence; help them change their sexist views and attitudes about
women; their feelings of "male entitlement," and teach them
positive and respectful ways of treating their partners and children.
We need to help people distinguish between the positive and negative
aspects of "Latino culture" and "familia Latina,"
and identify the protective and risk factors associated with each.
What are some of the positive cultural influences can help us find
our roots and place in the world, can help us become grounded, centered,
and interconnected. How can we change the negative cultural
influences that encourage women to stay in abusive relationships and
that reinforce abusive attitudes (e.g., male self-entitlement and
mandatory expectation of respeto on the part of women and children)?
We need to create balanced and respectful relationships, with ourselves,
with our environment, with our families, with our co-workers.
We have to begin by taking care of ourselves, respecting ourselves,
knowing who we are, what our purpose in life is.
Women can play a major role in dismantling sexism. We need to carefully
examine how our mothers and grandmothers have internalized and accepted
the patriarchal structure at home, at work and in other spheres of
life. Women are not passive by standers. Do women benefit from the
traditional division of labor based on rigid gender roles and how?
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