Men Mock Ads On Violence

As part of the YWCA's worldwide "Week Without Violence" earlier this month, the Cobb County, Georgia YWCA and other local organizations put up awareness posters in men's restrooms and locker rooms.

The posters depict a women who had been beaten up. Men were invited to leave responses on the posters, and many did leave messages - but most of them were extremely negative, some even profane, and most of the pictures were defaced.

Sandra Boyce, executive director of the Cobb County YWCA, estimates that 80 percent of the responses were negative and only 20 percent supportive. She spoke with CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Hattie Kauffman.


Boyce says she was not shocked at this response.

"What we do not know from this campaign is how many men elected not to write anything or how many actually got upset by seeing the things on the posters," she says.

Men's rooms often have graffiti or even vile drawings on them. Might they have gotten another response if the posters had been put somewhere else?

"This campaign was centered around violence among men," Boyce says. "And to look at violence among men, we have to go into those men-dominated areas to take a look and see what's happening."

Boyce says the messages included things like: "If she doesn't shut up, I'll blacken the other eye," and "Women just don't know when to shut up."

How much of this just bravado; men showing off in front of each other?

"It's part of our cultural norm among men that they do talk and go against women," she says.

Out of 50 posters, only 15 remain undefaced. What does this say about the relationship between the sexes in America today?

"That we have an awful lot of work to do. We're actually depending on men to join us women advocates in a leadership role to end domestic violence or end violence against women. We cannot do it alone. And men will listen to men a lot more than they'll listen to women."

What needs to be done to convince men that violence against women is not acceptable?

"We need more men to join campaigns, have their own men's campaigns and talk about ending domestic violence."