Bud Gilett, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is getting ready for an event he hopes will raise awareness and save lives.  It’s an anti-domestic violence rally designed to change minds.  The message?  Real men don’t hit women.

“You know, I’ve never done anything like this,” he told CBS 11 News as he examined the stage and setup.  The original idea was to get 10,000 men and boys to turn out to pledge not to hit women.

Rawlings says events like this and legislation will are part of the answer, but the big change will have to come culturally.

“Culture is changed by a lot of  things.  It’s changed by the media and what they talk about.  It’s changed by events like this.  And ultimately it’s changed home by home, father to son, coach to players.  That’s where we want to kind of start the movement. “

The Dallas ISD plans to provide buses for up to a thousand young men to attend.  Students also made public service announcements that are running on YouTube.

“You can call a guy who abuses women a lot of things; but you can’t call him a man,” says one young man in a video.   “A man doesn’t hit a woman, ever,” adds another.   The four PSAs are in English and Spanish.

The mayor has won praise for his efforts on his Facebook page, responses like one woman who wrote,  “As a former victim, I’d like to thank you.”  Rawlings says he’s been surprised at the sheer numbers of comments on the page.  “ I’m surprised at the breadth and the depth of the response.”

Numerous celebrities are expected, sports figures like Roger Staubach and Emmitt Smith among others.

A wild card in the plans is the weather.  “If it does rain it’s going to be light; so put on a windbreaker and come out and be a man!” the mayor chuckled.

The rally starts at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Dallas City Hall Plaza.

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