Boston Public Health Commission: The Halls web series

photo of the Hero911 Netwrok on a iPhone

THE HALLS web series is co-funded by the Office on Violence Against Women’s Engaging Men in Preventing Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program (Engaging Men and Boys) and the Office on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program’s Defending Childhood Initiative. The series is designed to engage young men in the conversation to end gender-based violence against women and girls. The Boston Public Health Commission seeks not only to work to prevent gender-based violence but to also promote healthy relationships among adolescent populations. Our hope is that through storytelling, the web series inspires viewers to think and challenge themselves in regard to all the messages that we are fed from society and the media about how young men and young women are taught to act in relationships, and free themselves to engage in positive alternatives.

The Halls tells the stories of three young men in Boston, and their struggles sifting through relationships, trauma, masculinity and their own identities. Tension starts building in their worlds when rumors swirl around the school about an accused rape of a student. Watch and explore their journey through… THE HALLS!

Justin, the star basketball player, works through the accusation of his fellow teammate and what it means for him based on his own personal history as a childhood survivor of sexual abuse. Throughout the series, he struggles to deal with the resurgence of those feelings and what it means to find healing in a world that offers so little role modeling for young men.

Tyler, the sweet awkward guy, struggles with identity in the face of a break up. He feels the pressure to become a player in order to attract girls. The series follows him as he explores the benefits and consequences of taking on this role.

Quincy, a young father, navigates what healthy co-parenting looks like in the face of trials and the absence of his own father. His father is trying to remain in his life but Quincy has to deal with the feelings that come with accepting his father’s departure from the family and his new life. In addition, Quincy must explore his deep seated homophobia as it threatens to prevent him from being the father he wants to be. He must navigate his displaced anger and how it is hurting the people he cares about and those in his life at school, all while being present for his own son.

The stories of these young men’s lives help us explore the norms around masculinity and vulnerability in a world that is increasingly complex.

At the start of the Engaging Men and Boys grant the Start Strong Peer leaders and adult male staff conducted focus groups to learn more about how young men, ages 11–18, viewed and experienced relationships. The themes that came through the focus groups are what drive the themes in The Halls. Subjects covered in the web series include trauma, identity, homophobia, young fatherhood, inability to be vulnerable, consent, healthy relationships, and childhood sexual abuse. The Halls is a fresh look at primary prevention. In an effort to prevent sexual violence and promote healthy relationship norms it was important to model what healthy relationships look like while reflecting the current norms that youth are navigating.

With a shift in law enforcement to thinking about prevention, this tool is a great means to start conversations about some of the pressures young men face to conform to expectations around sex and masculinity. Also, there are great moments presented that help to discuss sexual assault and how to prevent it. This tool is ideal for law enforcement personnel who work with youth in group settings and even one on one.

How can you help?

  1. Spread the message, particularly with young men and women in your life.
  2. Send the link to folks to view the web series.
  3. Go to and download the discussion guide to
  4. facilitate screening and discussion with the teens you work with.
  5. Join our twitter handle @thehallsboston, or better yet, get the teens in your life to join the handle.
  6. Please share with community organizations where we can come host in-person screenings with youth and/or adult providers.

Nicole Daley
Director Start Strong Initiative
Boston Public Health Commission

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