WASHINGTON and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — More than half of men think it is very or fairly likely that, at some point in their lives, they will know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and most are willing to take action to raise awareness, help victims and promote healthy, violence-free relationships, according to a poll released on Capitol Hill today. Issued in time for Father's Day, the poll was conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Family Violence Prevention Fund, with support from Verizon Wireless.
"Across the board, men want more done to stop domestic violence and sexual assault," said Verizon Wireless President and CEO Lowell McAdam. "Men are ready to do their part by talking to the next generation, donating wireless phones to help victims and more. Verizon Wireless will continue its commitment to stop violence, and encourages men and women to take action."
According to the poll, 56 percent of men and 60 percent of those age 18 to 34 have reason to believe a member of their immediate or extended family, a close friend or acquaintance has been in a domestic violence or sexual assault situation. More than half (57 percent) think they can personally make at least some difference in preventing violence, and 73 percent think they can make at least some difference in promoting healthy, respectful, non-violent relationships.
And, the poll finds, men are taking action. Two in three fathers (68 percent) have talked to their sons about the importance of healthy, violence-free relationships, and 63 percent have talked to their daughters. Fifty-five percent of the men surveyed have talked to other boys who are not their sons.
"There has been a sea of change in men's attitudes toward domestic, dating and sexual violence, and especially in their willingness to take action to stop it," FVPF President Esta Soler said. "That's one reason domestic violence has been declining in this country. But it's still a tremendous problem. We need many more individuals and institutions to get involved. We are asking Congress to fully fund the Violence Against Women Act, and the sports, business and other communities to step up and do their part. It is within our reach to dramatically reduce violence against women, but we all need to be part of the solution. That so many men say they are willing to act gives us real hope."
According to the new poll:
- Two-thirds of men (67 percent) say domestic violence and sexual assault are very or fairly common in the United States. Just 15 percent of men (and just 12 percent of young men) say it is not likely that, at some point, a woman or girl they know will be a victim.
- Seven in ten men are willing to talk to children about healthy relationships (up from 55 percent in a poll conducted in 2000) and an equal proportion are willing to donate old wireless telephones to programs that help victims and prevent violence. Two-thirds say they would sign a pledge; an equal number would sign a petition or contact lawmakers about the issue.
- Men give no institutions high marks for doing enough to raise awareness and address domestic violence and sexual assault. More than 60 percent say the sports and entertainment industries, government, school and colleges, the news media and businesses should do more.
- 87 percent want employers to provide information for victims, 83 percent want employers to adopt policies to help victims, 77 percent want supervisors and managers to be trained to support victims, and 72 percent want employers to provide resources to employees on how to talk to children about healthy, violence-free relationships.
From April 23 to May 3, 2007, Hart Research conducted this national survey for the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Verizon Wireless among a representative sample of 1,020 American men age 18 and over. The margin of error for this survey is + 3.1 percentage points.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that on average, more than three women are murdered each day in this country by their husbands or boyfriends. The health care cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totals $5.8 billion each year, nearly $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health care services, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About the Family Violence Prevention Fund
The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) works to end violence against women and children around the world, because every person has the right to live free of violence. In 2003, the FVPF and The Advertising Council launched a campaign to encourage men to teach boys that violence against women is wrong. Coaching Boys into Men includes television, radio and print public service announcements, and numerous resources. The FVPF's Founding Fathers campaign includes CEOs, professional athletes, entertainers, coaches and others who are mobilizing men to teach the next generation to treat women and girls with honor and respect, and to teach boys that violence does not equal strength. More information is available at www.endabuse.org.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 66,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.