Story last updated at 11/25/2008 - 4:35 pm
The Juneau Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is reaching out to theater audiences in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka to spread a message of violence prevention.
For one month, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 21, movie goers are seeing two rotating ads from the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Choose Respect Program on all eleven movie screens in Southeast Alaska.
Choose Respect is an initiative to help adolescents form healthy relationships to prevent dating abuse before it starts. One in 11 teens reports being a victim of dating violence and the CDC reports that adolescents who report experiencing dating violence are also more likely to report binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fighting and current sexual activity.
NOW chose two of the Choose Respect posters, which present images offering a choice of violence or talking it out, providing a universal message of "Respect. Give it. Get it." Bud Curtis, of AlaskaGrafix, added animation to the posters to grab the audience's attention and worked closely with NOW to ensure a lasting impression on the audience.
Stressing violence prevention is a priority of Juneau NOW's anti-violence against women efforts. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Alaska ranks first in the nation with the highest homicide rate for female victims killed by males. Almost 75% of Alaskans have experienced or known someone who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. The Alaska rape rate is 2.5 times the national average.
The media campaign is part of a combined effort between NOW, AWARE's violence prevention program (DELTA), and LEADon!, a group of teenagers who attended the Lead On for Peace and Equality in Alaska at Alyeska in October. Alaska NOW provided a $500 grant to the Juneau Chapter for the theater advertisements.