New video from One Love Foundation seeks to combat relationship violence

A new public service announcement wants family, friends and others to recognize and intervene in cases of relationship violence. It was produced by One Love Foundation, which honors memory of Yeardley Love, the University of Virginia lacrosse player killed by her ex-boyfriend.

The video shows actors depicting a couple in the middle of a violent fight, but unlike the now-infamous elevator footage of Ray Rice punching his future wife, this one adds another dimension: a group of bystanders watching impassively as their reasons for not intervening are displayed on the screen.

"It only happens when he's drunk," one man thinks. "It's none of my business," is another's rationale.


But the One Love Foundation wants to make relationship violence everyone's business. The video directs viewers to a website and apps created by the foundation, which honors the memory of Yeardley Love, the Cockeysville woman who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend and fellow University of Virginia lacrosse player in 2010.

Her mother, Sharon Love, who started the foundation, said the Rice incident and the elevator video that was revealed by the TMZ website made the issue of relationship violence much more real to many. Rice, initially suspended for two games by the National Football League after his arrest in Atlantic City, N.J., had his punishment extended indefinitely after the video surfaced, although the former Raven is appealing that.

"It really sparked a huge awareness not just in our community but across the country," Love said. "I think the video was so much more alarming than just hearing about it. Seeing her get decked and knocked out, I think it sparked a horror in people that made them say, [the NFL] can't just give him a slap on the hand, miss a couple games."

In the public service announcement, released to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, actors depict a young man yelling and then throwing his girlfriend on a bed and repeatedly slapping her. The room is encased in a glass box, and the woman begs futilely for help from bystanders on the other side — until one spectator throws her cellphone at the glass, shatters it and offers a helping hand to the victim.

The video directs viewers to apps the foundation has developed, with the help of research from JacquelynCampbell and Nancy Glass of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, to assess the danger level in a relationship and plan their exit from it.

"Our mission is to reach young people where they are at, which is on their screens," said Katie Higgins Hood, who recently became One Love's CEO after heading the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

The PSA can be viewed on the foundation's website, joinonelove.org.