The Office of the DeKalb County Solicitor-General, in partnership with Men Stopping Violence (MSV), Decatur Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi and the International Women’s House, Inc. (IWH), has been awarded over $300,000 to form the Engaging Men Project. The grant comes from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women with a focus on addressing domestic and sexual assault through the engagement of men and boys.
The DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office prosecutes over 13,000 misdemeanor cases every year, more than one-third of which involve domestic violence. Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling has a deep commitment to ending the violence against women. She recognizes an important factor to ending this cycle is to better engage men.
“My team and I are dedicated to building a better, safer DeKalb though education, partnerships and pursuing justice for our victims,” said Solicitor-General Coleman-Stribling. “This grant from the Office on Violence Against Women helps us fulfill these commitments. This grant allows us to partner with three organizations with an immense commitment to bettering our community and ending the deadly cycle of abuse. It also gives my office, as well as our partners, an opportunity to make men true allies in our fight to end domestic violence.”
Existing prevention programs are primarily designed as lessons in risk reduction for potential victims. The goal of the Engaging Men Project is to create proactive prevention programs and expand existing programs – created by Men Stopping Violence – that address men’s role in the cycle of abuse and rally men as allies.
The Solicitor-General’s Office will oversee the implementation of a six-part program that involves Men Stopping Violence coordinating educational and training sessions for members of the Decatur Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. The program will also require the members of Kappa Alpha Psi to incorporate what they learn about the violence against women into their Guide Right Program, which is a mentoring program that pairs their members with young men in their community. To ensure the Engaging Men Project maintains safety for victims of domestic violence, the International Women’s House will assist in the planning and implementation.
The grant also assists with the creation of a summer internship program with Men Stopping Violence. The organization will select young men, who are preparing to go to college, to work closely with the non-profit and exercise what they have learned through the various educational sessions.