Pittsburgh is leading the way to change how people think about violence against women. Especially after recent high-profile events, the public has called for efforts to stop the abuse.
In Pittsburgh, we are asking how we can prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) from happening in the first place.
On September 11, 2014, more than 200 men gathered in Pittsburgh to discuss men’s roles in stopping violence against women. Led by violence prevention advocate Tony Porter, the presentations focused on rethinking what it means to be a man and changing the idea that violence is a normal part of relationships. The presentations also focused on ensuring that men are speaking out against IPV.
IPV is not a private issue or only a women’s issue. This violence affects all of us. We have come together as a community to involve youths, parents, schools, faith-based organizations and youth-serving agencies to change the idea that violence against women and girls is acceptable. We’re raising awareness about what violence looks like and celebrating healthy and positive examples of intimate relationships.
Many area schools and community agencies are now engaged in “Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM),” a program developed by Futures Without Violence (available at http://www.coachescorner.org).
The program guides coaches to talk to their male adolescent athletes about stopping violence against women and girls. Dr. Elizabeth Miller’s research team from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC was recently funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test the CBIM program in 26 local middle schools.
Her team is also working with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh to test a program that engages boys ages 14-17 using an arts-based approach, Visual Voices.
Youths will use painting, photography and writing to express their ideas about healthy relationships and masculinity. Be on the lookout for these programs in your community.
Become a part of the conversation. For more information about these programs, contact Dr. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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