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Groundbreaking Celebrity PSAs Address Myths, Societal Attitudes That Confront Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 2, 2016

CONTACT: Melissa Schwartz, 240-997-6251

JOYFUL HEART GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRITY PSAs ADDRESS MYTHS, SOCIETAL ATTITUDES THAT CONFRONT MALE SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

1 in 6 men have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience before age 18

NEW YORK – The Joyful Heart Foundation and 1in6 – in partnership with Viacom – today launched a new series of print and broadcast public service announcements (PSAs) that speak to the excuses and societal attitudes that male survivors of sexual abuse are confronted with and direct viewers to resources for help.

The PSAs were directed by Joyful Heart’s Founder and President Mariska Hargitay, developed in partnership with Y&R Executive Creative Director/Writer Rachel Howald, and photographed by world-renowned photographer Timothy White. The broadcast ads will begin debuting across Viacom networks this week.

The new PSAs feature such notables as: Andre Braugher, Anthony Edwards, Blair Underwood, Chris Meloni, Courteney Cox, Dann Florek, Danny Pino, Dave Navarro, Debra Messing, Dwayne Allen, Hilary Swank, Ice-T, Jemima Kirke, Keshia Chanté, Marcia Gay Harden, Mariska Hargitay, Mark Herzlich, Mary J. Blige, Max Joseph, Natasha Lyonne, Nick Lachey, Peter Hermann, Samantha Ronson, Sophia Bush, Sway Calloway, Tate Donovan, and Tim Gunn.

The PSAs were produced by Joyful Heart as part of the leading role they have played to bring visibility to NO MORE, a public awareness movement focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

The PSAs can be viewed here.

“Survivors of all genders are by and large encouraged to bury our experiences,” said Maile M. Zambuto, CEO for the Joyful Heart Foundation. “For men in particular, the response may be one of questioning their manhood or sexual orientation, or insisting that they must have wanted the sexual interaction. This new PSA campaign reflects the feedback we have heard from male survivors, and is specifically geared toward starting conversations that engage rather than belittle those men. We need to change that narrative so men and boys, as well as women and girls, can feel safe stepping forward to get help.”

“The invitation to connection, inherent in this ground-breaking collaborative campaign sends a strong message to counter the isolation and stigma men who have experienced sexual abuse and assault so often feel,” noted Steve LePore, Executive Director of 1in6. “Kudos to our partners at Viacom, the Joyful Heart Foundation and NO MORE, for recognizing and embracing the potential of using their powerful networks to change the narrative about how we respond to men who have had these experiences. I have no doubt that such a visible, concerted effort to highlight available resources and the possibility of healing will have a profound, positive effect on individual men, their families and our communities as a whole.”

“When Mariska Hargitay and Joyful Heart came to us to help make the dialogue around abuse and assault relevant to our diverse and young audiences, we jumped on board right away,” said Niels Schuurmans, Executive Vice President Viacom Velocity Creative. “For us at Viacom, our partnership with the NO MORE movement was an amazing opportunity to use our audience connections to help drive change on such a meaningful cause. We truly believe that there’s no better use for our platforms than to leverage our voices to help support and protect the communities we serve by helping to put an end to domestic violence and sexual assault.”

The NO MORE PSA campaign was spearheaded by Joyful Heart, with the first ads launching in September 2013 designed to help dispel many of the most common and pervasive myths, attitudes and beliefs about sexual assault and domestic violence, and to engage the public in an open dialogue about these important issues. To date Joyful Heart’s NO MORE PSA campaign has been seen by an audience of more than four billion online, in print, and on television, with millions more reached through social media. The campaign has secured more than $90 million in donated airtime and pro bono services and reached every single one of the 210 media markets across the United States.

About the Joyful Heart Foundation

Founded by Law & Order: SVU actor, director and producer, and advocate Mariska Hargitay, the Joyful Heart Foundation works to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. www.joyfulheartfoundation.org

About 1in6

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. Its mission also includes serving family members, friends, and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community. www.1in6.org

About Viacom

Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form video, apps, games, consumer products, social media and other entertainment content for audiences in more than 160 countries and territories. Viacom’s media networks, including MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, SPIKE, Tr3s, Paramount Channel and VIVA, reach approximately 700 million households worldwide. Paramount Pictures, America’s oldest film studio, is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. www.viacom.com

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