ILWOMEN.COM: One Love 'Be 1 for Change' PSA Looking to Make an Impact
From the shadow of a dark tragedy, the One Love Foundation has provided hope and inspiration beyond just the lacrosse community.
In addition to charity events and equipment grants, One Love assisted with the development of a new turf field in honor of Yeardley Love that was completed in September at her alma mater, Notre Dame Prep (Md.). The foundation's latest initiative could have a national impact as the "Be 1 For Change" campaign was launched this fall. Be 1 For Change is a long-term initiative with a goal to combat relationship violence across the United States.
Phase I of the campaign, which is expected to be the One Love Foundation's signature program, launched in September and includes a PSA that has already received almost 10,000 views on YouTube and will also air on a variety of television and internet outlets. The ultimate goal of the PSA is education, but it also serves to promote the Foundation's Danger Assessment application available for smartphones. The idea for the app was brought to One Love by Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, who has spent 20 years doing research in the field of domestic and intimate relationship violence.
"Over the course of time, we decided we needed to do whatever we can to combat relationship violence," said Sharon Robinson, Yeardley Love's cousin, who helped found the One Love Foundation and is on the national advisory board for the "Be 1 For Change" campaign. "It hit us that one in three women in college are in an abusive relationship. In our case, we were blindsided by it and didn't know much about it. Our mission was to educate so that it doesn't happen again. Dr. Campbell put her research with our passion. She had the idea for the app and we had the resources to put it together."
The app takes users through a 20-question assessment designed to inform the user of their risk of being killed by an abusive partner or ex-partner. All information is completely anonymous and the app disables itself after one use with no record of the information being kept.
One Love partnered with Hunt Valley (Md.)-based Renegade Communications to create the public service announcement and after conducting a small focus group, decided that the app was best suited to be the star of the PSA.
"They're taking modern technology and phones and creating a tool people can use to make a difference," said Chris Beutler, Renegade's Chief Vision Officer and the creative director of the PSA. "We wanted to make a storyline that could speak to people about the ability to stop this and that's what this app could do."
Thoughts on the creative direction of the PSA included everything from targeting a younger audience to making the PSA something people could relate to.
"People seemed to like the notion of how disturbing it is that people are passively seeing this happen," Beutler said. "It takes the focus off the victim."
The production came together even more when Beutler discovered singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe, who was the opening artist for a concert Beutler attended in New York. Impressed by Jaffe's music and ability to be haunting and empowering at the same time, Beutler approached Jaffe about using one of her songs in the PSA. Jaffe's song "Before You Go" was chosen and Jaffe took things a step further, donating a portion of the song's sales on iTunes to the One Love Foundation.
The final product was an extremely powerful minute and a half that leaves viewers with a feeling of hope as opposed to the fear that many PSA's strive to create today. While the app is the focus of the PSA, the One Love Foundation is hoping it will also serve as a tool for educating the nation on an extremely important and poignant topic.
"We want people to talk about it," Robinson says. "There's another element here and that's that the emphasis should be more on the perpatrator. Sharon [Love's] analogy is to drunk driving. For the longest time, drunk driving wasn't addressed in our society and Mothers Against Drunk Driving was able to say, 'This isn't acceptable. This isn't responsible behavior.' That's what we hope to do with putting the emphasis on the perpatrator."
The next step for "Be 1 For Change" is a massive education campaign that includes contributions from Dr. Campbell, One Love Be 1 For Change advisory board chairwoman Kim Ward and author Leslie Morgan Steiner.
"We want to involve people who are successful in their careers and have personal experience with abusive relationships," Robinson said. "It's easy to read the stats and not think much about it, but when you know someone who's been affected, it's a hard reality to face."