When October rolls around many think of pumpkin-picking, Halloween costumes, and even Breast Cancer Awareness, but October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Retreat, a domestic violence services agency which also runs a shelter, has created a 30-second video to inspire men and boys to redefine masculinity and stand up to violence against women, which will be experienced by one in four women during her lifetime.
It will air locally during Monday Night Football and on other male-oriented TV programming later this fall.
Thanks to a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice, first of its kind in engaging men on domestic violence, the Retreat was able to fund the video, called "Beating The Odds." The Retreat decided to launch it during the county's 25th annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"Each time someone chooses to watch or share that video this month, he or she is making a statement: 'I care about ending domestic violence. I am a part of the solution to ending brutality against females,'" Jeffrey Friedman, the executive director of The Retreat, said in a statement Tuesday.
During just the past two years, calls to The Retreat's domestic violence hotline have increased 96 percent, to over 3,100. Meanwhile, funding for domestic violence servics has been cut.
The footage used in the film comes from the "Better Man" campaign, done by the United Way of Central New Mecixo, Friedman said. It's mixed with images of Long Island. In the video, several men of different ages and ethnicities speak about their grandfathers and fathers beating their grandmothers and mothers. "But I'm beating the odds, because I'm a better man than that," they say. One man says the lines in Spanish.
The video is part of a bigger campaign called, "Hope Begins," a joint partnership with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to prevent violence against women, including men in early recovery.
"Engaging Men" is a groundbreaking approach to violence prevention, seeking to mobilize men in the campaign against domestic violence.
Part of the Justice Department grant was used to show the film "Tyson" this spring.
Several events will be held on Long Island during National Domestic Violence Awareness, including Commemoration Day at the Suffolk County Legislative Building in Hauppauge on Oct. 4 at noon.
What do you think of the video?