Father’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor men who are fathers or serve as father figures. As a father or father figure you have the opportunity to serve as a positive male role model to children and young adults. Through this role you will help form the behaviors and opinions they will carry with them through adulthood, this includes the way they feel about domestic violence.
Domestic violence is often viewed as a women’s issue and many men feel they should not get involved. However, domestic violence is everyone’s issue. It does not discriminate against ethnicity, gender, economic level or zip code. A sobering statistic states that one out of every four women will be affected by domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. The women affected by this violence could be your mother, your sister, your daughter, a coworker, a friend or neighbor.
Men are critical to violence prevention efforts because males are more likely to listen to other males when it comes to the perpetration of domestic violence. This kind of leadership and mentorship is imperative to having a strong, healthy, and productive community.
Hubbard House, the certified domestic violence center serving Duval and Baker counties ask in honor of Father’s Day for men to take an active role in helping to end domestic violence in our community.
Here are just a few ways men can help make a difference in ending domestic violence:
- Take a stance and speak out against domestic violence and set an example by choosing non-violent means of conflict resolution.
- In their capacities, pastors, community and civic leaders must reinforce the message that domestic violence is unacceptable.
- Help other men by being a listening ear or lending a helping hand in times of high stress when domestic violence is more likely to happen.
- Act as a positive role model to youth by teaching young males how to treat and respect women and by teaching young females how they should be treated and respected.
- Educate youth about sex and violence in popular culture and mainstream media and set a very clear standard about respect.
- Emphasize the importance of communicating without abusive actions or words.
So to all who are fathers or father figures, as you are celebrated on this Father’s Day by those whose lives you’ve influenced remember the vital roles you will continue to play in the lives of the ones you love.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House Domestic Violence Hotline at (904) 354-3114 or 1 (800) 500-1119.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE
Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.
By Ashley Johnson