What About The Men?
by: Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
Finally, maybe some good news: there are men who care about sexual and domestic violence. The Fathers’ Day Poll released by the Family Violence Prevention Fund reveals the following:
· 2/3 of men know that sexual and domestic violence are common occurrences
· 1/2 know of someone in their circle who has been victimized
· 88% think that our society should do more to respect women and girls
· 57% believe they personally can make a difference in preventing sexual and domestic violence
· 1/2 believe that faith-based organizations should be doing more to raise awareness and address sexual and domestic violence
There have always been caring men who have devoted their lives to ending violence against women. These brothers have joined with us sisters to insist that the way things are is not the way they have to be. You are our allies and we thank you.
Three initiatives in particular are very promising:
“Because We Have Daughters” from Men Stopping Violence in Atlanta The Because We Have Daughters™ Campaign recruits groups of men who share fun and educational activities with their daughters – game days, photography projects, movie nights, and other activities. These excursions help men to look at life through their daughters’ eyes, heightening their awareness of the culture of violence and beginning the dialogue necessary to create real change.
“Founding Fathers Campaign” from the Family Violence Prevention Fund in San Francisco The campaign begins with an invitation to sign this declaration: “I proudly pledge my support to become a new Founding Father and join with other men in building a new kind of society – where decency and respect require no special day on the calendar, where boys are taught that violence does not equal strength and where men stand with courage, lead with conviction and speak with one voice to say,
“National Declaration by Religious Leaders to Address Violence Against Women” from FaithTrust Institute We initiated the Declaration and gathered together 46 national faith leaders as original signers because national partnerships are at the core of our true purpose: providing religious leaders and community advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the religious and cultural issues related to abuse. To date, more that 2,000 men and women have signed the Declaration.
These campaigns offer men a way to join together to change the circumstances that create and sustain violence against women and girls. These are efforts which should be integrated into our denominations and movements as part of men’s ministries. The work of ending sexual and domestic violence is men’s work–alongside women.