The “No More” campaign garnered national attention with a somber Super Bowl commercial that put domestic violence awareness in the spotlight.

But months before the campaign caught the notice of the sports world, a Dakota County based nonprofit began creating local “No More” public service announcements. The videos produced by 360 Communities feature advocates, domestic violence victims and community leaders calling for an end to domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The videos are designed to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence throughout the community and “create an environment where victims know that they can come forward, that people will listen,” said Karla Bauer, a staff member at 360 Communities.

Bauer is featured in one of the videos, which can be found on 360 Communities’ YouTube page, www.youtube.com/360communities.

“We don’t talk about healthy sexuality very often,” Bauer said. “So to talk about a forced situation, a violent, abusive situation, people don’t want to hear it, and they don’t want to talk about it.”

360 Communities released its first “No More” video in August, and have so far released videos of four people. In the announcement, people stand alone in front of a white background. They introduce themselves, and then they make statements against domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Bauer was inspired to become an advocate for victims after she was sexually assaulted as a college student.

When Tony Compton, who manages marketing for 360 Communities, asked Bauer to make a “No More” video, she decided to focus on campus sexual assault.

“It was my turn to say no more,” she said. “It should have never happened to me and it shouldn’t keep happening.”

Helping families

A group of church volunteers in the south metro founded 360 Communities, a social service organization, in 1970. The nonprofit runs food shelves and provides emergency financial assistance to families.

But many of its core programs are targeted at supporting victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. The list of services it offers includes providing secure shelters for families escaping abuse, advocating for sexual assault victims during the court process and leading violence prevention education in the community.

For Compton, one of the goals of the “No More” announcements is to get more community members involved in the movement to end domestic and sexual violence. He hopes to produce videos with city leaders, high school students and clergy.

At the annual Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Luncheon hosted by 360 Communities in February, Compton played the “No More” videos. He invited the attendees to fill out postcards if they wanted to make their own videos, expecting to get about 10 responses. But at the end of the luncheon, close to 70 people had volunteered to make “No More” videos.

The national “No More” campaign is best known for producing star-studded public service announcements that show celebrities and professional football players calling for an end to domestic violence and sexual assault. But the “No More” campaign also has a symbol — a teal 0 — that’s designed to raise awareness and spark conversations about domestic and sexual violence.

Compton has been wearing a “No More” pin for months. There are no words on it, but the circular teal pin stands out enough that people ask him about it.

“I’m an introvert. I wouldn’t go out and start conversations about it,” Compton said. “But if you wear the pin, people ask you, and you start talking about it.”

When people ask, he tells them about the “No More” campaign, and the work 360 Communities is doing to fight domestic and sexual violence.

“It takes people like me who don’t normally stand up and say something about it to start talking, changing the dialogue,” Compton said.

 

Dylan Peers McCoy is a Twin Cities-based freelance writer.