The Western Cape Government has added its voice to the call for men to play a part in addressing the problem of gender-based violence. Its newly launched, impactful GBV awareness campaign encourages abused men to reach out to the national GBV Command Centre for help.
Research showed that most men who were abusers had in fact been victims of abuse themselves. This insight inspired the campaign’s message.
The campaign, produced in collaboration with Cape Town advertising agency FCB, includes video, radio, and online elements.
The 60 second video depicts a small boy who witnesses his abusive father’s behaviour towards his mother, and then endures the same abuse. As the boy grows up, he finds that trauma and learned behaviours begin to manifest in his adult life. Realising that he is repeating the pattern of abuse, he calls the ‘Help for men’ Command Centre, which channels support to the men via various resources.
This helpline provides counselling for boys and men to deal with their pain, trauma, and the abuse they have received in their lifetime, to help them take responsibility and end the cycle of abuse.
Produced by Romance Films’ director Greg Gray, and executive producer Helena Woodfine, the video reinforces the campaign’s message: “Men who have been abused are far more likely to become abusive. Stop the cycle. It can end with you.”
Premier Alan Winde said, “It is critical for men who have been exposed to violence or were victims themselves in their youth to seek help. Do not be afraid. Put your pride to one side. Speak to a relative, or a friend. Seek professional help by accessing services offered by our Department of Social Development. You are not alone. Speak up and speak out. By opening up about their own trauma, they can end the cycle of abuse, start a cycle of healing and become positive role models for other generations of young boys.”
Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez said, “To make a difference, it is necessary to address the many root causes of GBV, which include intergenerational abuse and sustained exposure to violence. This spans race, income bracket, and geographic location.”
Advertising agency FCB’s Executive Creative Director Jacquie Mullany said, “The campaign aims at helping abused men to reach out for support and help, so that they can avoid perpetrating violence against women and children themselves.”
The video and radio commercials can be found at helpformen.co.za
Counselling services can also be accessed by visiting your nearest DSD office, or by
contacting one of our funded NPO partners. Services can also be accessed by calling the
Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428.
More information about services can be found at helpformen.co.za