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Sound: Creating Safe Spaces for Open Conversations about Relationships

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Sound Campaign

The Welsh Government’s Sound campaign aims to equip young men with the knowledge and confidence to reflect and understand their own behaviours, while also having open and honest conversations with their friends about theirs.

Launched in July, the Sound campaign has three simple calls to action, backed up by a range of resources, content and insights:

  • Sound it out. Encourage men to chat to one another, and to professionals, about their behaviours and relationships in safe spaces, without fear of judgement.
  • Get Sound advice. Visit the Sound channels, website, and approved partner channels to get verified advice on relationship issues, rather than falling prey to internet algorithms and misinformation.
  • Be Sound As. Take simple steps in every-day life to improve and better your own behaviours, while supporting your friends and peers to do the same.

Sound focuses on men aged 18-34 with engaging and informative content around healthy relationships across social media, podcasts, TV and streaming channels to counteract a narrative shared by some social media influencers promoting ‘ultra-masculine’ views. The campaign places itself in the spaces men currently inhabit, offering straightforward advice and education around healthy behaviours at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

Content promotes a variety of ‘sound as’ male role models who highlight the benefits of men utilising simple, constructive tactics to intervene when they witness harmful behaviours, by using ‘sound advice.’

The campaign is a response to an insights project, which set out to understand the key motivators and barriers that currently exist for young men when it comes to cultivating positive and healthy intimate relationships. The research commissioned by Welsh Government shows 64% of Welsh men underestimate how many women are subject to abuse. In addition, 39% of men interviewed said efforts to achieve women’s equality had led to discrimination against men.

The polarisation in attitudes and beliefs was most acute amongst young men (18-24). The clear divide between those who consider traditional masculinity to be under threat and those who identify as feminists highlights the urgent need to facilitate reasoned non-judgemental conversation amongst this demographic.

Crucially, the campaign centres around the voices and experiences of its intended audience. Developed with men from a variety of backgrounds across Wales, Sound has been informed by perpetrators and survivors of abuse, ensuring all content is appropriate to those with direct experience of VAWDASV. Sound campaign content normalises men expressing emotions, being supported and supporting one another.

New TikTok, Instagram and YouTube channels have been launched to host resources, with content streams include videos of footballers, boxers, barbers, musicians and friendship groups chatting about their understanding of terms like love bombing, gaslighting and negging. Educational resources provide definitions of these new terms and are backed by industry approved tips and advice on how to approach certain situations. Two months into the campaign, content had been viewed or engaged with more than 8 million times, by a majority male audience.

Read more about the Project in the Sound As Brochure

You can follow Sound here:

Instagram English: @SoundCymru

Instagram Cymraeg: @iawn_Cymru

TikTok: @SoundCymru

YouTube: @SoundCymru

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