Man to Man Campagin
( Beyond Borders ECPAT Canda)- If those who used children and youth for sex and profit stopped, there would be no victimization.
That's the premise behind the "Man-to-Man" public awareness campaign spearheaded by Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada. The campaign's messaging points squarely at the demand side of child sexual exploitation. Although there are cases of females who sexually exploit children and youth, the demand comes largely from males. In Canada, for example, more than 90% of child sex crimes are perpetrated by men.
The campaign includes a website and video ads featuring some of Canada's best known men. The website also features a video account of firsthand stories from former victims of abuse. The celebrities endorsing the campaign all have statements displayed on the website's homepage that speak directly to other men about the issue.
"This isn't about male bashing," states Beyond Borders president and co-founder, Rosalind Prober. "A very small percentage of the male population carries out these crimes but they do a huge amount of damage to children and youth."
Prober goes on to explain that her organization has three main goals for the campaign. "First, we want the public to start discussing the issue of demand and be aware that demand is at the root of this problem. We also aim our messaging at situational offenders rather than entrenched pedophiles. If a guy is having troubling thoughts about sex with children, we want him to seek help. Finally, we want to see more men involved in combatting this issue."
Prober states that for too long, advocacy work in this area has been dominated by women. "This isn't a 'women's issue' -- it belongs equally to men and it's time they stepped up to take action on it," she says.
The campaign is ongoing and Beyond Borders aims to continue to see it grow, develop and possibly take on corporate sponsors to aid that expansion. "Right now, we have a few broadcasters that have been showing the PSAs that go along with the campaign and feature some of our celebrities. We'd love to see those spots dominate the airwaves to get our message out. We'd need a corporate sponsor to do that."