Mark Wellstone, son of the late Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, is among 50 influential men making a public pledge against domestic violence today as part of a “Founding Fathers” campaign by the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Through national ads featuring New York Yankees manager Joe Torre and other celebrities, the San Francisco-based nonprofit is trying to spread the message through male role model like coaches and mentors that relationship violence is wrong, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The campaign also wants to raise awareness about the need to re-authorize the federal Violence Against Women Act next year, which has provided significant funding for shelters, law enforcement training, and public awareness. Physical or sexual abuse affects nearly one of every three American women during their lifetime. An estimated 10 million children annually witness such abuse – a teaching moment that leaves an indelible imprint. “Children who witnessed such violence are more likely to keep that cycle of violence going,” Wellstone said yesterday.
Another participant today is Oliver Williams, executive director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. “It’s an attempt to try to get men to take more responsibility on the issue,” he said.