We are committed to breaking the cycle of violence in our homes, schools, and communities.

Through this work, we change social norms that accept violence as a part of life.

We do this through research

Research plays a large role for the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. We not only want to know if something works, but also what strategies look most promising. Our “Engaging Men” research informed our strategy for a decade and from this we helped, with Futures Without Violence, launch “Coaching Boys into Men”, The Founding Fathers campaign, and the three Ad Council spots. Doing the research gave us an idea of the best ways to engage men in ending violence against women and girls. The Sioux City Project research, done after several years, was able to show us positive school climate movement after long term engagement of anti bullying and violence programming in the schools. We knew that our pilot school, who had been doing the work the longest, tended to score higher than schools who had just recently adopted. We were able to show positive bystander attitudes and behaviors by doing pre- and post- Mentors in Violence Prevention program surveys. The workplace bullying Zogby poll, done with the Workplace Bullying Institute, gave us the first national survey ever in the United States and let us know what we intuitively knew, that adult to adult bullying is a major concern in our workplaces.

We do this through national multi-platform advertising campaigns

As early prevention and awareness are the primary focus of Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, we believe in taking the prevention message far and wide through strategic partnerships. The Waitt Foundation and the Waitt Institute have formed successful partnerships with the Advertising Council in four campaigns over the last 15 years. Coming off of our national Peter Hart “Engaging Men” research in 2000, with our partners Futures Without Violence, we worked together with Futures and the AD Council to create three campaigns over six years. From 2002 to 2006, America saw the first multi platform campaign that encouraged men to talk to boys about violence against women and girls. In 2012, we again partnered with the Advertising Council on another multi platform campaign that encouraged parents to talk to their children about the importance of being “upstanders” when they witness bullying in the school or community. This year the TV spot entitled “Father and Son” from 2006 has been re-shot and will be rolled out in television, radio, print, and social media early this summer. We owe this to our partners Futures without Violence who brought on sponsors to make this sports related campaign a reality.

We do this through on-ground campaigns to prevent violence and bullying from youth to childhood

In 2000, the Waitt Family Foundation sponsored, with Futures Without Violence, the first national Peter Hart Research survey that posed the question, “What would men do to prevent violence against women and girls?” The answer came back, loud and clear. Men wanted to become involved, but felt they were never asked, and they would work with boys. Out of this came two programs: The Founding Fathers Campaign, and the awareness and on ground campaign, “Coaching Boys into Men”. Ted Waitt, chairman of the Waitt Foundation was the first national chairman of Futures Without Violence’s”Founding Fathers” campaign, starting in 2003. The campaign brought together male leaders who publicly stated their support, their resources, and time to ending violence against women and girls.

We do this through the power of film

We believe strongly in the power of stories to open the eyes , hearts and minds to the scourge of violence in our country. Our entry into the world of social issue documentaries came in 2006 and continues to this day. We were fortunate to connect with partners like Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, of “Bully” and Cynthia Hill and Kit Gruelle, of “Private Violence”. Both films have had broad acclaim at film festivals across the country. “Bully” was released in theaters by the Weinstein Company, and later made its broadcast debut on CNN. “Private Violence” opened at Sundance in 2014, and premiered on HBO October 20th. Our third film will premiere sometime in 2016 and will explore 2 cases of high school sexual assault and bullying. The working title is “Audrie and Daisy” and is being produced and directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk of Actual Films.