Community Members and Acclaimed Filmmaker Produce AWAZ's 2nd PSA
AWAZ team, filmmaker, and actors at
Artesia , CA : On August 4th, 2010, AWAZ - Voices Against Violence, South Asian Network (SAN)’s anti-violence unit, launched its second Public Service Announcement (PSA). The 60-second PSA focuses on preventing violence in South Asian families, especially families with children. With South Asian community members as cast and South Asian animation, the PSA shows an everyday South Asian family reading the wrong kind of fairytale - a fairytale with violence - to their children.
The PSA stems from data that approximately 3.3 to 10 million children witness - assaults against a parent by an intimate partner each year - a number that equals the size of the entire city of Los Angeles, as researched by the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV).
Family violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear. Research also indicates that children witnessing domestic violence show more anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems than children who do not witness violence in the home (Peled, Jaffe, and Edleson (Eds.), 1995). The trauma they experience can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances that affect their development and can continue into adulthood.
AWAZ staff worked with survivors, community members, and religious leaders with the goal of stopping the intergenerational cycle of violence. Several religious leaders stated, “The new PSA challenges South Asian families to deal with the root of violence - what stories we teach our children.” The last image at the end of the PSA shows a South Asian family calling community members to “write their own happy stories and end the cycle of abuse.”
SAN’s 2nd PSA was created in partnership with acclaimed South Asian filmmaker Amyn Kaderali, director of Kissing Cousins, Call Center and Take the Train. “Working with SAN on this PSA felt very rewarding as it was a chance to not only be creative but to contribute to the efforts of a group that is really making a difference and trying to end the cycle of domestic abuse in the community.”
Fifty people attended the event, including community members, the filmmaker, actor Anjul Nigam (Metro PCS Commercials), and community actor Samad Kamran.
SAN interviewed survivors of violence and brainstormed the story and concepts and main messaging. Survivors were involved in the process from conceptualization to post-production. SAN’s 2nd PSA was supported by a generous violence prevention grant from The California Endowment (TCE).
The PSA launches online this week on www.youtube.com/OnlineSAN and www.southasiannetwork.org Additionally, it will continue to play on Showbiz India and Namaste America as well as at the South Asian movie theater Naz 8 . AWAZ will also screen the PSA on Geo, NTV, and local channel .
At the event, AWAZ coordinator Saima Husain encouraged all “viewers to engage in positive parenting and relationships that create healthy and happy families.”
This violence prevention PSA is a continuation of SAN’s work to address and end violence in the South Asian community. Last year, SAN released its first ever PSA. The PSA identified the first signs of abuse, the impact on children, and the importance of addressing the violent behavior at an early stage before it escalates. Survivors of violence created the tagline, Respect and Love Are Key in Any Relationship - Together we can Stop the Violence.
“This year, we hope the PSA reaches young people, adults, and elders - we want people to know that the cycle of violence has to end. That starts in each and everyone of our homes, the way we treat our friends and loved ones, and the stories we tell each other,” said SAN staff member, Riffat Rahman.