Southwest Pa Says No More launches “Dear Men” video series at 8th annual Father’s Day Pledge
Southwest PA Says No More has launched “Dear Men,” a new video series that addresses the role men play in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault and harassment – a serious issue that affects up to one in three women and many men. The series is the centerpiece of Father’s Day Pledge 2021, an annual observance where area business leaders, public officials, and community members speak out against gender violence. The ceremony was held virtually for the first time in its eighth year on June 15, 2021.
“The Father’s Day Pledge is an opportunity for more men to get involved in breaking the cycles of violence that devastate families and impact the safety and health of our communities and workplaces,” said Kristy Trautmann, founder of Southwest Pa Says No More and executive director of FISA Foundation. “Most men believe this is an important issue, and want to be involved, but are not sure what they can do to make a difference. This year, we offer simple ways to live the pledge and take action.”
“Dear Men” casts light on the abuse and harassment women experience and provides concrete examples for men – how a simple action can make a difference. In the videos, eleven men read letters from survivors of partner violence and abuse. They recount how a bystander, by simply speaking up or being there, made a difference to her, whether he knew it or not.
Filmed in Pittsburgh, the men – all volunteers – are visibly moved as they read the letters aloud and pledge to do their part to end violence. The letters are inspired by stories that often go untold, ranging from an abusive ex-boyfriend to harassment in the workplace, bar, bus, classroom, soccer field, and small actions people took that made a difference.
“Dear Men” was created by Gordon Robertson, founder and creative director of Hullaballoo agency, with video production by Covalent. The series features five videos – one six-minute video and four two-minute videos, along with a companion video discussion guide and additional resources at SouthwestPaSaysNoMore.org/FathersDayPledgePA.
At the virtual Father’s Day Pledge 2021 gathering, Jim McQuade, president and CEO of Dollar Bank, led the recitation of the pledge joined by Kenyon R. Bonner, vice provost and dean of students at the University of Pittsburgh, and Mike McClaine, CEO of Aspirant. Lisa Perry, executive director of PAAR, also spoke about the impact of the pandemic and new, free, confidential services available around the clock. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald reinforced the county’s long support of the pledge and programs for vulnerable families.
“Business and community leaders in our region support this important work year over year,” said Bobbi Watt Geer, president and CEO of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. “Their staunch leadership on this issue is an inspiration for us all. Everyone has a role to play. Prevention work in Southwestern Pennsylvania serves as a model for communities across the nation. Thanks to all those committed to ending domestic violence and sexual assault and creating safe, healthy communities.”
Watch the archived Father’s Day Pledge 2021 ceremony and the debut of “Dear Men:”
Look for additional videos in the Dear Men series coming soon.