Are you ready for No More week? Guess what, it's coming! So are a bunch of tweets that read: "Learn about #NOMORE, a public awareness campaign making a difference in the lives of survivors." And probably people pointing you to this story about a domestic-violence hotline in the Dayton, Ohio area that said it got an uptick in phone calls after the Super Bowl and is certain (though it didn't say why) that the No More PSA is the reason.
Yesterday, we posted our story that showed just how little No More does: It's an awareness campaign, overseen mostly by brands, intent on making us aware of a problem we already know about. They don't provide services. They don't accept donations. They don't know how much money they've generated for local groups that actually work directly with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. But they do make some snazzy wife beaters and coasters with their logo on them! Of course, this made them the perfect partner for Roger Goodell when his NFL had a massive crisis following the bungled handling of Ray Rice knocking out his future wife. They allow the NFL and plenty of other brands to look like staunch supporters of women's causes without doing a lot of work or even parting with that much cash.
In response, No More sent out the email below, along with talking points (which were sent in an attachment) on how to answer questions about our story. A tipster passed them on to us, and here they are for you.
From: Virginia Witt
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 1:01 PM
Cc: Rachel Haas; Emma Bethel
Subject: Keeping the Focus on Our Important Cause
Hi NO MORE Executive Committee:
Just a quick note to reach out to you about our recent publicity. A little perspective: In the last ten days, NO MORE has appeared in virtually every major media outlet nationally, an unprecedented deluge of publicity across television, radio and print. Most of this was accurate reporting focused on our historic PSA on the Super Bowl, and 99.9 percent of it has been favorable and great visibility for the cause of ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Juan Carlos Aréan, Ted Bunch and others have done great interviews.
But this week, as is inevitable when a campaign is so visible, we became the target of criticism by Deadspin, known for its acerbic takedowns. As our ally and Steering Committee member at Safe Horizon, Ariel Zwang, put it so well this morning on CNN, we're being criticized for being a public awareness campaign—which we are! (And a successful one I modestly but accurately add.)
If you missed it, see Ariel's strong interview here: cnn.it/1D5k5sH
Over the next few days and weeks, other field leaders will be writing or speaking up—not just for NO MORE but much more importantly for the cause we represent—and sharing their views on social media. If you would like to join in, here's a sample Tweet:
Learn about #NOMORE, a public awareness campaign making a difference in the lives of survivors: https://twitter.com/CarolCNN/status/563719604942299136 via @CarolCNN
Or share this great local impact story about victims seeking help because of our Super Bowl PSA:
I don't believe in getting defensive about criticism—we have too much important work to do, including preparing for the excitement of NO MORE Week, which we will discuss on Monday. Let's keep the focus on ending domestic violence and sexual assault and not get diverted from our mission just when we are making a difference. However, in case you get questions about the Deadspin piece, I have attached some quick talking points we are using.
All best—talk to you Monday!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your response to the Deadspin article?
The article accuses NO MORE of being an awareness campaign and that is exactly what NO MORE is. NO MORE is bringing people and organizations together with a unifying symbol. And it's helping to elevate domestic violence and sexual assault in a new way.
So what exactly is NO MORE and how did it come about?
NO MORE is a unifying symbol and an awareness movement – that since NO MORE's launch in 2013 has attracted 40,000 online activists, and more than 400 allied community groups. It was created with the support of major domestic violence and sexual assault organizations. These non-profits all understood that until we pierce the stigma and shame that surround domestic violence and sexual assault, we cannot effectively change how these issues are viewed and addressed. That is why NO MORE is so important.
NO MORE is giving people, organizations, companies, and advocates a way to support these issues in a visible way. It connects people who want to support these issues with organizations in their communities.
Is No More a non-profit or for-profit organization?
NO MORE is not a for profit organization. In fact it does not accept individual donations. It's a project of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a registered non-profit. And it was started by dozens of advocates from non-profits and corporations who saw a need, to bring these hidden issues out of the shadows. NO MORE is the vehicle to do that and it's brought together hundreds of groups.
NO MORE says it wants to be the red ribbon or the pink ribbon. But critics seem to be fed up with those types of commercialized brands. What's your response?
NO MORE wants to make domestic violence and sexual assault issues that people can talk freely about. They remain very stigmatized and hidden, as breast cancer and HIV AIDS once were. Awareness is the first step to changing how these issues are viewed and addressed and that is what NO MORE has set out to do.
Know anything we should? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Image via Getty