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Founded in 1998, PAX / Real Solutions to Gun Violence is an innovative and uniquely effective organization working to end gun violence impacting America's children and youth. Rather than participating in political advocacy, PAX focuses entirely on addressing gun violence as the urgent crisis of public health and safety that it is, creating empowering education campaigns that save lives immediately and, in the long term, help to shift the dangerous and deeply entrenched social norms that lead to most gun violence.
The SPEAK UP Campaign empowers students with an unprecedented resource to prevent school and community violence and creates a powerful opportunity to combat destructive social norms, such as those being encouraged through the insidious "Stop Snitching" message.
Based on the fact that in over 80% of school shootings the attackers tell other students about their plans, SPEAK UP features the first-and-only anonymous national hotline for students to report weapon threats, 1-866-SPEAK-UP. Experience is showing us that these trends hold true in the case of youth violence and gang violence as well; kids often know about violence before it happens. Developed in collaboration with leading experts and authorities in law enforcement and education, the hotline is supported by a comprehensive youth education and marketing initiative, including powerful public service advertising with tens of millions of dollars in pro-bono support, extensive collateral materials and a fully accredited curriculum in thousands of schools nationwide. In only seven years, the 1-866-SPEAK-UP hotline has received over 30,000 calls resulting in the almost certain prevention of hundreds of tragedies. Social norms around threats of violence are changing as students everywhere are demonstrating that they can actually do something to make themselves, their schools and their communities safe.
- Jennie Lintz
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