Today, we launch a major new campaign encouraging young men to reflect on their own behaviours when it comes to violence against women and domestic abuse.
The ‘Sound’ campaign focuses on men aged 18-34 with engaging and informative content around healthy relationships across social media, podcasts, TV and streaming channels to counteract a narrative shared by some social media influencers promoting ‘ultra-masculine’ views.
New research, commissioned by our client Welsh Government, shows 64% of Welsh men underestimate how many women are subject to abuse. In addition, 39% of men interviewed said efforts to achieve women’s equality had led to discrimination against men.
The polarisation in attitudes and beliefs was most acute amongst young men (18-24). The clear divide between those who consider traditional masculinity to be under threat and those who identify as feminists highlights the urgent need to facilitate reasoned non-judgemental conversation amongst this demographic.
Developed with men from a variety of backgrounds across Wales, Sound has been informed by perpetrators and survivors of abuse, ensuring all content is appropriate to those with direct experience of VAWDASV.
Sound address misogynistic beliefs and tackles stereotypes, it will also encourage young men to learn about gender-based violence in three distinct ways:
- Sound It Out: Have conversations with your male peers, sound out problematic behaviours and personal concerns.
- Sound Advice: Get trusted insights on what a healthy relationship looks and feels like, ask for support.
- Be Sound As: Encourage your friends to open up, support them, challenge them, be a role model and emulate the figures you consider ‘sound as.’
Sound forms part of the four year contract that Cowshed won in 2022, with a clear objective – to make Wales the safest place in the world to be a woman.
Vicki Spencer-Francis, Managing Director of Cowshed said:
“One in three women will experience gender based abuse in their lifetime. Both myself and Beth, Sound’s Campaign Director are survivors of domestic abuse. We know first-hand the importance of this work for those like us, and for our nation as a whole.
Deep community engagement told us that men want to change, but they need support, encouragement and the space to talk and understand how they can do things differently.
Sound has been 100% co-produced with those we want to work with and influence. The platforms will be spaces where men can share advice and ask those tough questions that need sound advice.
Sound is one of the most significant behaviour change projects we have had the privilege of developing in the nine years since Cowshed launched. We can’t wait to see it come to life and make an impact.”
Farrell Rafferty, 25, and a member of St Joseph’s Amateur boxing gym in Newport has been involved in the campaign. He said:
“I would never talk about my day to day problems with my partner, because in my eyes, I need to be seen as the carer in the relationship. This project has shown me that maybe my opinion isn’t always the way forward, or the only one. It’s all about listening to other people, taking it what they say.
Being involved has made me realise that maybe I don’t need to be so strongheaded and can talk to others.”
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said:
“We want to make Wales the safest place for women to live fear free. Our Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) Strategy sets out how we will end the abhorrent abuse women face.
Early intervention and prevention are vital to our plans. We must educate young men and boys about healthy relationships and ensure that we’re putting the responsibility on them to stop violence against women and girls. That’s why I’m so pleased that this campaign has been constructed alongside the very same audience we’re targeting.
“Sound’ is there to initiate self-reflection by drawing attention to harmful behaviours such as love bombing, gaslighting and coercive control – helping men to recognise these behaviours in themselves and others, to get trusted, sound advice on how to address them.”
Follow Sound here:
Instagram English: @SoundCymru
Instagram Cymraeg: @iawn_Cymru