[Providence, RI – June 6, 2014] Everyone can play a role in ending domestic violence in Rhode Island. Men can be especially effective agents of this social change. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence will launch its Men’s Campaign the week of June 9 with its group of male allies in RI, TEN MEN, at the center.
Domestic violence is not just a women’s issue, and TEN MEN are inviting all Rhode Island men to get involved. The group’s television public service announcement will air on Cox throughout the month. The commercial features the following TEN MEN members addressing domestic violence in their respective organizations, workplaces that represent different sectors of the community and address the need for community-level, as well as individual, responses to the issue of domestic violence:
Other current and previous TEN MEN members also appear in the television PSA, including:
TEN MEN’s radio public service announcement, voiced by member Rilwan Feyisitan, Jr., Director of Program Operations for the Community Action Partnership of Providence (CAPP), will air in English on WHJY and WEEI, with the Spanish PSA airing on Latina 100.3FM.
Every Rhode Islander has the responsibility – and the ability – to create safe and healthy communities where domestic violence no longer exists. This year’s TEN MEN members designed the PSAs to speak to their peers – other men in Rhode Island – as well as their neighbors and loved ones about the need for everyone to stand up against domestic violence. The campaign arrives just in time for Father’s Day, which is significant to the theme of the television and radio spots this year.
“We all have a voice, and that voice has the power to shape the world – for better or for worse. It was very important to the TEN MEN that the PSAs convey the opportunity we have today to create a world without violence for our children and the generations to come,” says Lucy Rios, Director of Prevention and Public Education for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the TEN MEN Project Manager. “This idea led to the campaign tagline, ‘Your Voice Matters.’ Your behaviors and words impact those around you on a daily basis. If we learn the many ways to take action against unhealthy relationships and to promote respect and equality, if we have the commitment and the tools to do so, then we will see a change – we can end domestic violence.”
The members of TEN MEN epitomize that commitment. The purpose of the group is to break the silence around the issue while becoming well-versed advocates in the movement. Members also give one another the strength and solidarity they need to conduct the challenging work of shifting ingrained, often harmful, social norms (learned attitudes and behaviors) around masculinity, gender and relationships.
In addition to helping craft this month’s PSAs, each member will spearhead a public awareness event in his community. Next week, on Thursday, June 12, Year Up’s John Youte, who can be seen talking to young men about healthy conflict resolution in the television PSA, will collaborate with the Women’s Center of Rhode Island, one of the RICADV’s six local member agencies, to host a first-of-its kind annual networking and educational event for men of all ages and backgrounds. Other TEN MEN events will occur throughout the year to continue the work of engaging men and boys against domestic violence beyond June.
Stay tuned next week for the launch of the TEN MEN Campaign! Current TEN MEN members are available for interview upon request.
About TEN MEN:
TEN MEN is a group of Rhode Island men from diverse walks of life who have a common vision – a world without domestic violence. Most men are not violent in their relationships. But even one violent man is one too many. That is why TEN MEN came together – to reach everyday men who are not sure how to help and often remain silent in the face of other men's violence. TEN MEN is the first statewide effort driven by pioneering male leaders who have stepped forward and are committed to breaking that silence. For more information, visit www.ricadv.org/tenmen.