One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and every nine to 12 seconds a woman is battered. Domestic violence has become the leading cause of injury and death to American women. There is no wonder domestic violence is considered a women’s issue, but that does not mean men should refrain from helping to end the abuse. Domestic violence is everyone’s concern and there are many ways men can get involved and make our community safer.
Men are a crucial element to violence prevention efforts. Men tend to be involved in the aspects of the community that supports and deals with family violence. We often see men as judges, lawyers, police officers, doctors, etc, who work with families in crisis. Some men are the neighbors, friends and family members, who support victims by reaching out and lending a hand. In addition to this, men are more likely to listen to other men when it comes to the perpetration of domestic violence, and fathers have enormous influence over the development of their children.
Men commit most domestic violence, but most men do not commit domestic violence. The majority of men who are not violent are unaware of the potential for their voice and actions to make a difference. Instead of remaining silent in the face of other men’s violence, it is time to speak up! Below is just a few example of how men can get involved:
- Be role models to other men. Men are uniquely positioned to reach out to other men who are violent at home. It is important to let them know they need help, and there is someone who wants to help them. Let them know their behavior is not acceptable.
- Take a vocal stand against domestic violence. Men speaking out can have a powerful effect in helping change social norms that support and perpetuate abuse.
- Act as a role model to a child who lacks a positive male figure in his life. A male mentor can provide consistent support and help the child make a safety plan.
- Take a leadership role in civic organizations, such as sports clubs, churches and neighborhood associations to speak out against violence in the home.
- Understand how your own attitudes and actions may perpetuate sexism and violence. Work toward changing them.
- Confront sexist, racist, homophobic, and all other prejudiced remarks or jokes.
- Do not fund violence by using magazines, movies, music, or television programs that portray women in a sexually degrading or violent manner.
- Organize or join a group – in school, your workplace, or among friends – to work against domestic violence.
- Support those who you know to be survivors of domestic violence by never putting the blame on the victim.
There is no excuse for domestic violence. Everyone has to help end abuse. If we take responsibility and take action, each of us can help prevent domestic violence.
Visit www.menagainstdv.org for ideas on how you can get involved, and help end domestic violence.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE
Hubbard House is a nationally recognized leader in domestic violence intervention. Founded in 1976, 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 child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.
By Vicky Krook