Join a national movement of men working as allies to end violence against women and children
The Men’s Initiative is a component of our Community Education and Volunteer programs. It is a primary prevention* program that provides men and male youth opportunities to engage in work to end dating and domestic violence and sexual assault by promoting respect, equality and healthy non-violent masculinity. This is accomplished through:
- Education: Exploring the role that gender stereotypes play in supporting relationship violence through school programs and community workshops,
- Awareness Campaigns: Increasing the visibility of the majority of men who are not violent and giving voice to their belief that violence against women and children is unacceptable, and
- Activism: Equipping men with strategies to intervene in unhealthy behaviors and create social change.
“Violence, oppression and prejudice are learned behaviors. That which is learned can be unlearned.”
~Rafael Cordwell, Chair of the Men's Initiative
Men's Initiative Volunteer Positions
- Community Education: Co-present community education programs with our community education staff to youth and community adults. Volunteers will complete a sensitivity training, certification, peer education training, and specialization in one or more curricula.
- Peer Support: Reinforce our community education programs by conducting on-going, coordinated awareness activities such as poster campaigns, distributing ribbons during Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness Months, etc. This will be done in the Volunteer's unique setting (e.g. school, business, campus). No certification is required; some training on men in the anti-violence movement and Women's Center issues will be provided.
These are just two examples of the ways in which men can get involved in supporting our work. If you are interested in becoming a part of the solution to end domestic violence and sexual assault, please contact our Volunteer Coordintor, Chrissy Deep at (203) 731-5200 x 202.
Learn more about the activities of the Men's Initiative. Like us on Facebook.
*Traditionally, anti-violence work has focused on risk-reduction for women and children. Primary prevention seeks to change the culture - replace unhealthy social norms with healthy norms - so the risk of an individual becoming a perpetrator of abuse in the first place is eliminated. Men play an integral role as role models and mentors in making this change happen.
WCSU students, together with a former community educator, Kyle Pinto, host a campus Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® march during 2010's Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In this national campaign, men are literally asked to experience women's perspective by wearing often restricting high heels. This very visible display of men taking that risk publicly is a powerful statement that most men do not support sexualized and gendered violence.
Visit the Where Do You Stand? campaign website for information from the national organization, Men Can Stop Rape.