2016-09-04- Midweek HI-2

Midweek: Joyful Heart Foundation’s ‘Hawaii Says NO MORE’ campaign is taking a localized approach to increase awareness of domestic violence and sexual abuse

NO MORE: These two words have a lot of people talking about as sensitive subject that usually goes unspoken.

That’s all the center of the Joyful Heart Foundation “Hawaii says NO MORE” campaign. In the words of the foundation’s chief executive officer, Maile Zambuto, “trying to get people to talk about something that, for the most part, people don’t want to talk about.”

The powerful public service announcements will roll out in October on Hawaii News Now to coincide with DomesHc Violence Awareness Month. They command attention with a simple concept: Subjects stare into the camera against a while background and share a personal stand that starts with the words “no more.”

The power of these PSAs is in the message and messenger. They show celebrities, athletes, and everyday people discussing domesHc violence and sexual abuse with straight talk in mainstream media media— everywhere from Vogue and Vanity Fair to Wallstreet Journal, USA Network and Fox News, and locally with partner Hawaii News Now.

NO MORE has received $90 million in pro bono ad space since its 2013 launch. Spots with NFL players that aired during every prime time game in 2015 turned out to be the game changer. The catalyst was surveillance video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiance in an elevator. Zambuto recalls the reaction from the NFL and players. “

They wanted to talk about it. They were asking to be part of the campaign and conversation.”

Hawaii says NO MORE mirrors the national campaign with a district local feel.

“We started planning this campaign two years ago and heard the same feedback,”

says Hawaii regional director for Joyful Heart Kata Issari. “Keep it the same, but use local people and local language, and not just famous people.”

While the creative done locally by HNN, Wall-to-Wall Studios and photographer Tony Novak-Clifford correspondents with the national campaign, pidgin phrases like “Don’t make shame” and “Why she neva leave” are unique to Hawaii says NO MORE. Viewers will see local stars, including Na Leo Pilimehana, Daniel Dae Kim and Brian Keaulana, along with non-famous locals in a series of 23 spots that were shot in June in Hawaii and in New York. It just so happened that actor Kim was performing on Broadway at that time and the Hokulea was in town, so organizers scheduled a second shoot to capture five locals, including Kim and apprentice navigator Jenna Ishii in New York City.

“It’s very moving to watch and know what we’re doing is NO MORE but so true to Hawaii,” says Zambuto.

NO MORE’s logo, a blue circle, is the first unifying symbol to express support for ending domestic violence and sexual assault, and the stigma, silence and shame that keep people from talking and taking action. The circle sign signifies zero tolerance and a community coming together. It also could symbolize a vision coming full circle for Joyful Heart’s founder, Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay.

Hargitay founded the organization in 2004 in Hawaii after her own heart awakening in Kona, surrounded by a circle of dolphins. She describes that experience as the inspiration for Joyful Heart, her vision to provide healing and support for victims.

She was compelled by letters from fans sharing their stories of abuse. For some, it was their first time telling someone. The fact that these individuals were revealing something so personal to someone they knew only as a character on television

She saw the need to have the conversation with alarming statistics like these:

  • Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.
  • More than five children die every day in this country as a result of child abuse and neglect.

Hargitay made her directorial debut with the NO MORE national campaign in 2013, and returned to Hawaii to head up the local school.

“Of any shoot, this sort of spoke to her the most deeply,” reveals Zambuto. “The talent, the connection, the intimacy.”

“I was very moved during the shoot and I found myself energized to the point of great conviction in delivering my thoughts, given my own personal road and dealing with violence and abuse,” shared “Kumu Hina” Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. “This campaign is critical in asserting a presence of individuals from a diversity of social circles who stand in support of inspiring social change. Ending violence begins with a high level of social consciousness to an instrument of change, no matter who we are or where we come from.”

It’s a natural extension of Hawaii’s aloha spirit, coming together as a community to say NO MORE.

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