Safe at Home foundation, founded by MLB Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre, launches awareness campaign

Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation

Former Major League Baseball manager and Hall of Famer Joe Torre has launched a new advertising campaign to further educate the public about the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation which works to end the cycle of domestic violence.

The campaign which launched this week spotlights the pattern of domestic abuse and how to stop it. The launch by the organization – which was founded in 2002 by Torre and his wife, Ali – is its largest awareness campaign to date and its first in nearly 12 years. Set to air on CBS, A&E and additional networks, as well as in print and online, the “End the Cycle” campaign was created by creative agency Gyro in association with production company UNIT 9 and Rock Paper Scissors.

The blunt TV spot shows a son mirroring his father’s verbal abuse – although initially the son is the same age as the father, repeating every loud word, and every angry gesture. As the verbal tirade continues, the viewer sees the man in the back seat become a mere child strapped into a car seat, startled as his father screams at his mother over the phone. The point is that children exposed to verbal or physical abuse are sadly more likely to learn it from a parent and become abusive themselves as adults. The spot was directed by Unit 9’s Michelle Craig who has shot ads for Jameson, Stella Artois, Volkswagen, Capital One and Unicef.

Torre, founder and chairman of the Safe At Home Foundation, said: “Domestic violence is a national tragedy that remains mostly hidden behind closed doors, affecting families in all communities. The ‘End the Cycle’ campaign highlights and speaks to the vicious cycle of domestic violence. Gyro has created an impactful awareness campaign that will help us shed light on domestic abuse, allowing us to talk about it and connect families to the help they need.”

Vito Zarrillo, executive creative director, Gyro New York, said: “The ‘End the Cycle’ campaign was a very personal effort for everyone involved. We were all driven to create a message that was both impactful and unavoidable. We are thankful that we have the opportunity to amplify the importance of the Foundation and its important and, unfortunately, often overlooked message.”

The Safe At Home Foundation also pioneered a unique idea: A “safe room” that would be integrated into schools and staffed with a full-time, master’s level counselor. The program was named Margaret’s Place, a tribute to Torre’s mother. Margaret’s Place incorporates individual and group counseling, school-wide anti-violence campaigns, a healthy relationship curriculum, peer leadership groups, staff and faculty training, and parent and family outreach. In the 14 years since its inception, the Foundation has reached over 60,000 students, parents, and school personnel. There are currently 13 Margaret’s Place sites open throughout the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas.

Partners in this pro-bono effort include CBS, A&E, The Wall Street Journal and top video advertising distribution company Teads.TV.

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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