Now that many of us know more, what can we do to create positive forward movement and new norms that might put an end to this violence?
Believe and acknowledge survivors. Be aware of our own biases.
Hold perpetrators accountable.
Enact fair and transparent policies and procedures in responding to complaints from everyone employees, contract workers, students, military personnel, government employees and even elected and appointed persons.
Take a hard, and yes, uncomfortable look at the roots of violence against women, the inequalities, power imbalances and social structures that enable this violence to continue unabated.
Our leaders – local, state and national – need to take a stand on the issue. Do they stand against sexism and inequality? Do they stand for respect, kindness and healthy relationship? Without hesitation or doubt, they have to be able to say where they stand in ending violence against women. Unequivocally they must stand against all forms of violence against women, anything less is dangerously disingenuous.
Where do you stand in ending violence against women?
To learn more about what you can do to end violence against women, check out the 100 Men Campaign website or call Megan King, Violence Prevention Coordinator with Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, at (231) 347-1572 or email@example.com.
Recently, there has been an awakening to the ongoing and pervasive problem of violence against women. So, what do we do now? What actions do we take in our everyday lives to help make a positive change? How can men be a part of the conversation and solution in ending violence against women?
Start by taking a stand. Decide to stand with those who stand AGAINST sexism, inequality and oppression. These are the roots of violence against women. Choose to stand with those who stand FOR respect, kindness and healthy relationships.
Be a role model to others and know that most people do not support domestic abuse, sexual assault and harassment. Know that if you speak up, others will see you as a strong and compassionate advocate for women and children. Know that by taking a stand, you are making a positive difference.
Learn how you can take action and make a positive difference, at 100 Men Campaign.
What is a Healthy Relationship?
Different people define relationships in different ways. But in order for a relationship to be healthy, it needs a few key ingredient.
One fundamental part of a healthy relationship is open, honest and safe communication. You can learn more about healthy communication, healthy boundaries and even take an online 'healthy relationship quiz' on loveisrespect.org.
Providing information to area students on healthy, respectful relationships is a goal of the Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan, accomplished through our violence prevention work in schools. Recently, we worked with a group of local high school students and found they increased their understanding of issues such as gender stereotypes, media influences, consent, power/control and upstanding - and how these issues are related to violence against women.
Students took a survey before learning the material, then afterwards. The result are encouraging:
There was a 28% increase in students recognizing rape and sexual assault are not the victim's fault.
There was a 23% increase in students recognizing intimidation used by one dating partner against another is abuse.
There was a 16% increase in students recognizing controlling behaviors are not part of a loving relationship.
In the pre-survey, a majority of students indicated they felt there were things they could do to help prevent sexual violence (speaking up, taking action, educating others), yet after completing the prevention education program there was an additional 8% increase in students feeling this way.
Looking for ideas on how to have conversations on these topics with young people in your life? Check out the website, loveisrespect.org, or call the WRCNM Violence Prevention Coordinator, at (231) 347-1572.
Although high-profile cases have increased awareness of sexual assault, it remains a major health concern for women in the U.S., with one in three experiencing some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. That’s because awareness is only part of the equation. The other part is action.
Starting this April, we invite you and others to pair awareness with action to create the positive change needed to end sexual assault and make our communities safer. By taking the following pledge, you are taking action and creating positive change.
- By pledging to treat people with dignity and respect, you will make a conscious choice to spread kindness where ever you go.
- By pledging to recognize that we all have equal value, you will reflect on how many groups in our society have been marginalized and oppressed and work to change that for our future.
- By pledging to listen to and support survivors, you will help people feel that what they experienced was not their fault and was not deserved.
- By starting a conversation with friends, family or coworkers on the topic of sexual assault, you will raise awareness and learn how others view this issue.
- By pledging to encourage friends and family to take the pledge, you will create ripples, turning into waves that will create a beautiful change in our society.
Learn more about how you can help end sexual assault by contacting Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) at (231) 347-1572 or visit wrcnm.org. If you or someone you know is in need of confidential support services, call the WRCNM’s 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line at (231) 347-0082 or (800) 275-1995.
A new Gillette razor commercial encourages men to be role models for the next generation by "saying the right thing" and "acting the right way" when they see inappropriate behaviors such as sexual harassment, objectification and bullying.
The commercial has sparked a backlash. Some people feel Gillette is attacking ALL of the qualities and attributes characteristic of men. The message is one of self-improvement and heightened social consciousness – striving to be your personal best – yet, some feel it’s simply a feminist message in response to the #MeToo movement to end sexual harassment and assault. And some feel it’s wrong to depict such a complex issue in less than two minutes.
Gillette got a few things right, however.
It takes great strength of character to speak out against negative behaviors you do not want associated with your own gender. It takes a strong and confident person to be an active bystander who interrupts inappropriate behavior and/or comments when they happen. The Gillette commercial advances the idea that this protective role exemplifies bravery and masculinity, not the reverse.
The commercial acknowledges that not all behaviors are positive or helpful to other people, especially behaviors that promote sexism and gender stereotypes which are damaging to women, as well as men and boys. Gillette is selling razors to both men and women, the issues they address are extremely relevant and timely, so why not talk about them? Part of the reason sexual assault and related social problems exist is the silence that surrounds them, the lack of speaking out and the lack of calling out others exhibiting disrespectful and harmful behaviors.
Gillette’s commercial also shows some of the many positives of masculinity are the power, platform and influence men have to positively impact other men and boys; to intervene, model and promote respectful behaviors and to even change the arc of a young person’s life. The very act of guiding a new generation of men to act with respect, compassion and kindness is masculinity in action.
Finally, the commercial has created conversations at work, home, school and online about manhood and how we can all be better versions of ourselves. When we use our strength, influence and courage to end behaviors that are harmful to others, it’s all good.
Here's a good discussion on issues related to the Gillette commercial that aired on CBS, featuring Ted Bunch, co-founder of A CALL TO MEN.
The snow is here and the sights, sounds and smells of the holidays are upon us. Let us take a moment as we enter this season of family and giving to think about our impact on the people, community and world around us.
This holiday season, make a commitment to be an agent of change. When spending time with loved ones, take the time to show that you care and to truly listen without judgment. Make every action an action of kindness and watch it spread throughout our community.
Take the Holiday Kindness Challenge. Choose as many actions as you can from the list below (or think of some of your own) and make kindness a priority this holiday season.
12 Days of Kindness
1. Donate money to an organization you participate in. Click here to donate to wrcnm.org or 100 Men Campaign!
2. Focus on being present while spending time with family.
3. Tell wholesome jokes to make someone smile.
4. Practice empathy.
5. Help someone do a chore or shovel for a neighbor.
6. Use social media to spread messages of kindness and respect.
7. Volunteer in your community.
8. Make get well cards for someone who needs them.
9. Make holiday decorations for others.
10. Clean the snow off someone’s car.
11. Invite friends and family to participate in the Kindness Challenge.
12. Share a photo or story of your acts of kindness with us to be featured on our Facebook page. Click here to send your photo or story!
For more ideas on how to create positive change, click here!
Thank you for helping make the world a kinder place!
A CALL TO MEN is re-launching its 'LIVERESPECT on Campus' toolkit with new resources for students heading back to campus. Updates include Justin Baldoni's Man Enough video series, which is an excellent discussion starter. Episode four - Men and #MeToo - features A CALL TO MEN CEO Tony Porter and explores how men can become part of the solution to end widespread sexual harassment and sexual violence against women.
Click here to view the full length of this episode, as well as others.
With back-to-school around the corner, it’s time to revisit one very important law about schools' responsibilities regarding gender-based violence. Many of the topics in previous posts have discussed how we can help build a protective environment by acting as role models, being mindful of language and speaking up when we see something harmful. In addition to all of this there is Title IX.
What does Title IX cover?
Originally, Title IX was most well known for being applied to gender equity in sports. Before this law, many schools directed the majority of their athletic funding to the men’s teams. After Title IX, schools were required to provide equal opportunities to women’s and men’s sports.
Discrimination on the basis of sex also includes sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault. Schools have a responsibility to protect students from a dangerous or hostile environment. This is important because sexual assault on campus is a reality for too many students.
Where to find more information?
Check the student handbook or code of conduct. This should spell out a school’s response to harassment or violence in the school. This should also include the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator, who oversees all Title IX complaints.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing Title IX. Click here to check out their website for more information.
Get to know your Title IX and find an overview of Title IX, student rights and school responsibilities, information about reporting and ways to get involved supporting Title IX, by clicking here. Continue reading
Boys will be Boys.
These four words are often used to excuse aggressive behavior, ignore poor manners, defend a cruel or careless act or tolerate an act/comment of disrespect towards the opposite sex. Beyond being dismissive and damaging, it validates antisocial behavior by removing personal responsibility under the guise of boys simply being boys.
BOYS WILL BE BOYS teaches our children:
• That boys and girls should adhere to a different set of rules
• That boys do not need to be accountable for their actions
• That boys are seen as unable to control themselves
• That it is normal or ‘natural’ for boys to be overly physical and rough
• That as parents it’s not our responsibility to change poor behavior as the gender odds are stacked against us – it’s a predisposition
Let’s not sell our sons short. Let’s not limit their personal growth or settle for mediocrity. By teaching accountability we are allowing our sons to be the best person they can be.
Boys can be better - and they will be, if given the chance.
Let’s be part of the change. Continue reading
When you’re out and about this summer, remember that your everyday actions and everyday voice are creating positivity in your community.
How can you help end violence against women?
Take any opportunity to spread kindness, model respect and show compassion.
These seem like simple and obvious actions, but it’s important to be intentional about them.
While you’re modeling these healthy every day actions, remember to speak up when you see someone who is saying or doing potentially harmful or damaging things.
Speak up when you hear someone body shaming. It’s common to hear people talk critically about female celebrities and their “beach bodies." Every body is a beach body as long as it’s on a beach.
Challenge those who ask victim blaming questions. “What was she wearing?” and “How much did she have to drink?” are completely irrelevant questions when speaking about a sexual assault victim.
If someone you know tells a sexist, racist or offensive joke tell them you are not comfortable with that kind of joking. Let them know that while they might think their joke is funny and harmless, jokes like that do perpetuate a culture of hate and violence.
If you see or hear advertisements that objectify or degrade women to sell a product, give that business a call, let them know that if they want your business, they should change their advertising methods.
Summer in northern Michigan is a beautiful opportunity to spend time outdoors and with your community. At the beach, at barbeques with friends and family, enjoying nature with your kids, take all these opportunities to promote a healthy, safe and respectful community.
The dollars generated by the 100 Men Campaign support local education and prevention activities such as White Ribbon basketball games at area high schools, ‘Coaching Boys into Men’ materials for local coaches, speaking engagements and awareness-raising media messages; the campaign has also sponsored film screenings, panel discussions and lectures.
“In 2010, the 100 Men Campaign was really ahead of its time,” said Gail Kloss, WRCNM Executive Director. “Nationally and globally, there’s been a gradual awakening to the pervasiveness of sexual assault, harassment and domestic abuse, but the tipping point came when so many women – established, well-known celebrities – came forward to speak out about their experiences of assault and harassment by powerful men in the entertainment industry.”
The result of this deeper understanding of a widespread societal problem makes people want to create positive change, according to Kloss, who said that joining the 100 Men Campaign is one way men can take action.
Kevin Burns of Harbor Springs has contributed to the campaign for years as a way to get more involved in local violence prevention. Burns also serves as member of the WRCNM’s Violence Prevention Team and volunteers at awareness-raising White Ribbon Campaign events.
“I’ve gained a greater understanding of how negative cultural and social norms contribute to violence and gender inequity through my involvement with the 100 Men Campaign,” said Burns. “As a result, I am inspired to get involved and to make a difference in creating a safer future.”
Bill Wilson of Petoskey is also a long-time campaign contributor who serves on the Violence Prevention Team and has facilitated community prevention events and participated in panel discussions.
Wilson said to be effective, “Men must speak out and confront the men who hurt, abuse and violate women, but first we need to confront our own attitudes, beliefs and actions that may be harmful to women. Then we must know when to stop talking and listen to women as they bravely stand up against men’s violence.”
Steve Van Dam and his son Ben made changes at their Boyne City business, Van Dam Custom Boats, as a result of their increased awareness of the issue. They are also members of the 100 Men Campaign. Steve explained that it’s more important than ever for men to be vocal about the issue of ending violence against women and girls.
“For us, the current news underscores the importance of men stepping up to say ‘no more’ and encouraging other men to do the same,” said Steve Van Dam. “We are dedicated to doing that and to giving our support to all that WRCNM does for our daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and friends.”
Creating social change to correct unhealthy attitudes and behaviors often starts with activism at the local level; it can happen in small, everyday actions taken by one person, according the WRCNM Executive Director Gail Kloss.
“This local campaign is reaching out and inviting men to be part of the growing momentum nationwide – worldwide – to create communities that support equality, respect and healthy relationships free from violence, said Kloss. “The 100 Men Campaign has never been more relevant or important than it is today.”
To learn more about the 100 Men Campaign or how to join, contact the WRCNM main office at (231) 347-0067 or visit wrcnm.org/100-men-campaign.
Petoskey Northmen boys’ basketball team hosted a White Ribbon game on February 12. During this awareness-raising event team members invited fans to join them in pledging to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. The week prior to the game, students and team members handed out awareness and prevention materials.
The scoreboard only tells part of the story. You are winners for taking a stand on this important issue and inspiring others to understand and embrace the incredible potential they have to be a part of positive change.
To learn about hosting a White Ribbon Campaign event at your school, contact Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan's Violence Prevention Coordinator, Megan King, at (231) 347-1572.
The Zonta Club of Gaylord Area, District 15, arranged for the Gaylord High School wrestling and varsity boys basketball teams to take the White Ribbon Pledge to end violence against women on December 20.
The pledge read: “I pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. From this day forward, I promise to be part of the solution to end all forms of this violence.”
Now a worldwide campaign, the White Ribbon Pledge was created in 1991 by a group of Toronto men as a way for men to raise awareness of violence against women. According to the pledge, it is the responsibility of all men to step up, speak out and take action against violence. The campaign seeks to promote healthy relationships, gender equity and a compassionate vision of masculinity.
Megan King of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan urged Gaylord athletes to use their visible role to help make positive social change by initiating respect. In addition to leading the young men in the white ribbon pledge, she explained the origins of the White Ribbon Pledge and shared two short videos. The first featured the Red Riots high school basketball team in Maine who said they chose, “not be defined by the strength of our arms and legs, but rather by the strength of our character.” The second video featured professional football players from the Toronto Argonauts who said it is about “leading by example both on and off the field.”
Zonta Club of Gaylord Area President Amber Theriault followed King’s presentation by asking the athletes to not initiate or encourage inappropriate jokes. Rather, she called on them to help make a cultural shift. Theriault challenged the student-athletes to commit to and share the message of respect for women.
Cherie Nutter, a Zonta member and president of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan Board of Directors, closed the event by speaking of the goal to keep local young athletes from making gender-biased slurs.
The event, titled “Our Team Says NO,” came on the heels of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The event featured local men in Michigan who stepped forward to add their voices to the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.
Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan provides violence prevention training and support to schools, businesses and organizations. They also provide “Coaching Boys Into Men” materials designed to encourage coaches to teach young athletes about respecting women and working to end violence against women.
#ZontaSaysNO Continue reading
Stories of powerful men using their positions to sexually harass and assault women have dominated the news. Check out 10 Things Men Can Do Right Now to Address Sexual Harassment in the Workplace to learn more about how you can make a difference.
As a society, we are learning more about sexual harassment and sexual assault and people are feeling more comfortable speaking up about it. We are beginning to understand the power dynamic that allows this problem to continue. We are learning harassment of a coworker is not flirting, but is unwelcome sexual behavior that may be physical, verbal or written – especially if it makes the victim feel intimidated or humiliated.
A positive development in all of this is that men are becoming much more vocal about believing survivors. The sheer number of survivors speaking out about victimization is being called a ‘watershed’ moment; it is a unique opportunity to engage in conversations with friends and family about these topics. You have likely heard some victim-blaming as people try to come to terms with the large number of allegations and revelations.
Here are a few ways you can redirect the conversation when that happens:
When you hear: “She’s probably making it up to get attention.”
Respond: The truth is that false accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment are very rarei, in fact these crimes are very much under-reported.
When you hear: “Why didn’t she come forward sooner?”
Respond: There are many barriers for survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault to report these crimes. A survivor might believe the report could jeopardize their current or future employment. Because there’s a tendency to blame the victim instead of the perpetrator, many survivors feel they won’t be believed; coming forward may actual re-traumatize survivors.
When you hear: “But he seemed like such a nice/good guy.”
Respond: Often times perpetrators of sexual harassment and sexual assault work to maintain a public image of the “nice guy”, this often works not only to deflect attention from their abusive behaviors, but to gain more access to victims. This is part of the reason people are surprised when survivors do speak out. Part of the disbelief is our alarm in realizing it’s not the nameless/faceless person in the bushes who may harm us, but it’s the guy who may sign our paycheck, promote us, hire us or fire us.
More survivors may choose to speak out in the days ahead and more men in entertainment, sports, politics and corporate America may be identified as perpetrators. This is a time well-meaning men like you can raise the bar. Look at your own workplace. Look at the policies and power dynamics. How can you do more to help women feel safe? Don’t be embarrassed by the actions of other men. Be ready. This is an incredible opportunity to rebuild our world so it is safer for all of us.
See how men are speaking up about this issue, check out #HowIWillChange and add your own pledge. Ask your Human Resources Department to review current sexual harassment policies, or consider sending them to the WRCNM to receive thoughtful recommendations on how you can make your policies more inclusive and more mindful of the experiences of survivors of sexual harassment.
Or ask the WRCNM to provide training on workplace sexual harassment at your next staff meeting. For more information contact Megan King at (231) 347-1572 or by email.
iDavid Lisak, Lori Gardinier, Sarah C. Nicksa, Ashley M. Cote “False Allegations of Sexual Assault: An Analysis of Ten Years of Reported Cases” Violence Against Women (December 2010); pp. 1318-1334
In this TED Talk, Justin Baldoni talks about starting a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity to figure out ways to be not just good men, but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: "See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper," Baldoni says. "Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?"
Would you like to learn more about available workshops and trainings for northern Lower Michigan businesses, groups and organizations provided by Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM)? Contact the WRCNM Violence Prevention Coordinator at (231) 347-1572 or send an email inquiry.Continue reading
This article, posted recently on the White Ribbon Campaign website, offers a few ideas on what you should and shouldn't do when survivors choose to speak out about their experiences. Read more on #MeToo - What You Can Do (and what you shouldn't do). Click here.
This year marks the 30th year of National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and a call to people nationwide to take a stand to end domestic abuse. Why is it important for you to take a stand?
- Domestic abuse is prevalent in all communities across the U.S. and impacts many of us directly or through friends, co-workers and family.
- Domestic abuse does not discriminate. Perpetrators and survivors represent people of any age, financial status, race, religion or education.
- It’s likely someone you know has experienced domestic abuse because it’s the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, impacting one-third of U.S. women during their lifetime.
- Last year, alone, Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) provided survivors and their children 2,898 nights of refuge at the Safe Home. An additional 429 survivors utilized non-residential counseling and advocacy services.
- Talk to friends and family about this issue and join the conversation on social media. #DVFacts #JoyfulHeart #loveisrespect #DVAM2017
- Take a selfie or group photo to share on social media about why and how you are taking a stand against domestic abuse. #TakeAStand17 #NOMORE
- Collect cellphones for survivors or to raise dollars that support domestic abuse programming through the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan; drop donated cell phones at the WRCNM main office.
- Activate friends, coworkers or neighbors to host an awareness event, contact the WRCNM Violence Prevention Coordinator for ideas and input at (231) 347-1572.
- Download and share awareness and educational materials online. Click here!
The Pew Research Center study found that one in five Americans have been subjected to particularly severe harassment online, including physical threats, sexual harassment and long-term stalking.
“I’m shocked," said Richard Barajas, chief executive of the National Organization for Victim Assistance. "This research put actual numeric faces to the work we do on a daily basis. Never did I imagine that it would be that ratio. It tells you there is just a whole lot of it out there - you can imagine what’s not being reported.”
Check out the video, above from safebae.org for more information.Continue reading
How can we be proactive in ending rape? Prevention means understanding who perpetrates sexual violence and how we can reach them; unlearning how we are mis-educated about consent, sex, and hooking up; identifying the cultural roots mis-educating us; and being empowered to effectively create change in our communities toward ending rape.
Keith Edwards is a social justice educator, sexual violence prevention speaker, men’s identity scholar, and leadership coach. He has spoken and consulted at more than 100 colleges and universities, presented more than 100 programs at national conferences, and written more than 15 articles or book chapters on these issues. He is an affiliate faculty member in the Leadership in Student Affairs program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, where he teaches graduate courses on diversity and social justice in higher education. He spends each day trying to be a great father who made the world better through those he touched and influenced.
Consider this: it took less than 40 years to put a man on the moon, but it will take 170 years to put a woman in the board room in many places on our planet, according to the recent Global Gender Gap Report.
Can we close the gender gap in less than 170 years?
A Unilever world-wide study of 9,000 women and men found that antiquated gender stereotypes, social norms and biases maintain an widening gender gap. Most women (60%) and half of men (49%) in the study said gender stereotypes affect their lives and careers.
The study pinpointed media and marketing as major contributors to deep-seated gender stereotypes, even despite attempts by some marketing specialists to avoid creating ads and promotions that foster gender stereotypes.
Consider these observations about gender inequality:
“The World Economic Forum’s latest Gender Gap Report notes that we may not achieve economic equality among men and women for another 170 years. That’s just not good enough. We need to lead the change in tackling unhelpful stereotypes that hold women – and men – back.” ~Paul Polman, Unilever CEO
“For decades, we’ve simultaneously been primed with opportunities that didn’t exist for previous generations and undermined by social stereotypes that both limit those very possibilities and create identity traps that weaken our individual ability to perform to our potential.” ~Alexis McGill Johnson, Perception Institute Executive Director
“We are on a journey to achieve ‘Unstereotyped’ mindsets inside and outside our company. But we can’t do it alone. We are calling for a conscious effort from individuals, government and businesses – big and small – to step up, root out and challenge the stereotypes that feed inequality and halt progress.” ~Paul Polman, Unilever CEO
Positive actions you can take in your everyday life:
- Encourage the kids in your life to play as they wish; challenge your own stereotypes of what toys your sons or daughters choose to play with.
- Stand up to sexual harassment; studies show that 80 to 90 percent of women have been harassed in public. Learn how to safely respond to harassment if you experience it yourself and what to do as a bystander if you witness it. Learn more at Hollaback!, a global movement to build safe, inclusive public spaces by transforming the culture that perpetuates discrimination and violence.
- Include boys and men in conversations about gender equality because it’s not just a women’s issue it’s a human rights issue.
- Use social media to bring attention to gender imbalances. Gender Avenger is a growing community of men and women committed to taking action to ensure women are part of the public dialog on gender balance at all levels. Check out how #NotBuyingIt created a movement that made Super Bowl advertisers take notice to address sexist advertisements.
- Talk to your daughters, granddaughters or young women on teams you coach. Who are their role models? Do the women they see on TV and in the media reflect who they want to be? How are those women in the media treated by men and boys? Do they see women as leaders and in positions of authority? All of this is setting up her expectations for her own life. Learn more at The Representation Project or Women's Media Center.
Think about it!
- In 2017, 12% of countries worldwide have a woman head of government.
- Women hold 24% of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs.
- Women represent 19% of US congressional representatives, 12% of state governors, 18% of the mayors in the largest US cities.
Creating social change to correct unhealthy attitudes and behaviors starts with activism at the local level; it can happen in small, everyday actions taken by one person. Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) is releasing a short video called “Wave of Change” exemplifying that concept. The 6-minute video features the Van Dam family who owns and operates Van Dam Custom Boats in Boyne City, Michigan, and the actions every individual can take to help end violence against women and girls.
After watching a documentary on the subtle influencing factors that help perpetuate violence impacting 1 in 4 U.S. women, Steve Van Dam decided he did not want that kind of culture at his business. His son, Ben, echoes that conviction, “Actions one person can take, or the words that they say, or the way they conduct themselves will impact the person next to them and then that person will go forward and start to build a wave impacting and ending violence against women and girls.”
According to WRCNM executive director, Gail Kloss the goal of the video is to inspire people and businesses to stand up and take action to make our communities safer and stronger. “The thought of ending violence against women may seem overwhelming, yet any one of us can help make a positive difference by infusing every day and every action with the kind of values we hope to see in the future,” said Kloss.
WRCNM invites those interested in helping end violence against women and girls to check out the Wave of Change video and share it with friends, family and co-workers via social media. The Wave of Change video is available on the organization’s YouTube and Facebook pages and their website at www.wrcnm.org. For more information, contact the WRCNM Violence Prevention Coordinator at (231) 347-1572.
Unilever has launched a new ad campaign challenging toxic masculinity. The brand says it hopes the new work helps “to break the cycle of toxic masculinity by providing guys with resources to live more freely.” The ad emphasizes that it's okay for guys to just be themselves.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s theme, Engaging New Voices, encourages a wider audience of people, groups and organizations to take action to help stop sexual violence before it happens.
You can help change the culture that allows sexual assault to exist:
- By speaking out to end sexual assault, you create a ripple effect to help the next generation foster attitudes that promote safety, respect, equality and healthy relationships.
- Greater awareness and open conversations about this important issue will improve understanding about the causes of sexual assault and how to best change behaviors that allow it to persist.
- We can all play a role in influencing those in our personal, social and business networks. Coaches and teachers can promote integrity and respect with young people. Faith leaders can support survivors. Parents can talk to their kids about healthy relationships. Community members can encourage conversations about all of these topics
Consider these facts:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives.
- During the 2015-16 Fiscal Year, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan provided sexual assault services to 190 local survivors; 47 of whom were under age 18. The WRCNM’s 24-hour crisis line supported 843 calls.
- These numbers only tell part of the story; sexual assault continues to be a crime that is greatly underreported.
Learn more at National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Click here!
For more information on how your business, group or organization can help end violence against women and girls in our community, contact us at (231) 347-1572, or email us.
Local leaders in Bellaire, Gaylord and Petoskey have proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They join other mayors and leaders throughout the nation who have made similar proclamations. Since 2001, April has been recognized as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month to focus attention on this pervasive crime, educate communities and raise public awareness about sexual assault and how to prevent it.
In a Petoskey News-Review story, Petoskey Mayor John Murphy said, “Whereas the city of Petoskey strongly supports the efforts of national, state and local partners, and of every citizen, to actively engage in public and private efforts to prevent sexual violence, it’s time for all of us to start conversations, take appropriate action and support one another to create a safer environment for all.”
Chris Krajewski, Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Program Director said, "These local leaders are to be commended on issuing this important proclamation because ending sexual violence starts with each one of us and the actions we choose to take in our everyday lives.
WRCNM provides support, advocacy and counseling services at no cost to survivors of sexual assault in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and Otsego counties. Last year the nonprofit organization provided support, advocacy and counseling to 190 individuals affected by sexual assault, 47 of whom were age 17 or younger.
For more information or support, call the WRCNM’s 24-hour crisis and information line at (231) 347-0082, (800) 275-1995 or visit wrcnm.org.
When our kids are at school, we hope that they will be protected and respected and have every opportunity to succeed.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX makes a difference
- Originally, Title IX was most well known for being applied to gender equity in sports. Before this law, many schools directed the majority of their athletic funding to the men’s teams. After Title IX, schools were required to provide equal opportunities to women’s and men’s sports.
- Before Title IX only 7% of high school varsity athletes were girls. Forty years after the passage of Title IX, that number had jumped to 41%.
- In 1967, Katherine Switzer became the first women to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry, which was against the race rules at the time. She was yelled at and chased in an attempt to remove her from the race. With the passage of Title IX in 1972, women were officially allowed into the race.
- Title IX changed more than just athletic opportunity. When Title IX was signed in 1972, women earned just 7% of all law degrees and 9% of all medical degrees. By 1997, that number had risen to 44% of law degrees and 41% of medical degrees. Title IX offered opportunities for women with academic and athletic scholarships.
- Discrimination on the basis of sex includes sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault. Schools have a responsibility to protect students from a dangerous or hostile environment. This is important because sexual assault on campus is a reality for too many students. Studies agree that roughly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men in college experience some kind of sexual assault.123
- Title IX engages schools to prevent violence on their campuses through education and awareness. These efforts are important to stop violence before it starts and empower students to be active bystanders.
1 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of College Students on Sexual Assault, 2015
2 Cantor et al., Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, 2015
3 England et al., Online College Social Life Survey, 2015 Continue reading
– Coaching Boys into Men
How do adults other than parents shape and mold young people? Consider the influence of coaches. Winning is a priority for every coach, however, winning with integrity and fairness should also be a goal.
Sports have tremendous influence in our culture and in the lives of young people. The principles of teamwork and fair play make sports an ideal platform to teach healthy relationship skills. As influencers and role models, coaches are uniquely poised to teach and mentor healthy behavior.
As leaders themselves, athletes should be given the tools and vocabulary they need to stand up for respectful behavior and to positively influence their school’s culture.
Student athletes at Petoskey High School (PHS) are letting their voices be heard at the upcoming White Ribbon Game at PHS gymnasium. Come out to support them and let your own voice be heard at 7 p.m., January 6, 2017. Pledge to be part of the solution in ending violence against women and girls.
Coaching Boys Into Men information and resources, click here.
Request free Coaching Boys Into Men materials from the Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan and 100 Men Campaign, click here.
Learn how Kingsley High School football team is using Coaching Boys Into Men program, click here!
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
One way we can do more in our everyday lives to effect positive change in our communities is to become an active bystander. What is meant by the term active bystander?
An active bystander:
• is someone who sees inappropriate or violent behavior and takes action
• chooses to diffuse and prevent potentially dangerous situations
• can even prevent violent and inappropriate behavior when they observe the warning signs and take action early
• is calm, kind and approachable
Here are a few ways you might intervene as an active bystander:
• a comment that helps defuse the situation
• showing disapproval of/speaking out against harmful actions when you see them
• express care/compassion for the recipient/target of the inappropriate or violent behavior
• casually remove the person from the aggressor/group of aggressors
• find an authority figure to intervene
• join with other caring and compassionate bystanders to take constructive action
Additional small, every single day actions:
• redirect the conversation when someone blames the victim for being sexually assaulted, instead focus on holding the perpetrator accountable for their own behavior and actions
• suggest a different motivator when you hear someone tell a boy he is playing like a girl
• intervene when someone tells a sexist or racist joke
Each of these situations left unchecked, and many more like them, contributes to a society that allows domestic and sexual abuse to continue. That is why we must commit to make these seemingly small interventions part of our everyday routine. Some people may think, “It’s none of my business”, “It’s a family issue”, “I don’t want to make a big deal out of something so small” or “I’m just one person, I can’t make a difference”. Challenge these thoughts and challenge yourself to take action anyway.
Over time these actions will become more comfortable. Taking small actions and speaking up every day will create positive change that will help end the culture of violence that impacts our daughters, sisters, mothers, partners, friends and neighbors.
Language is how we communicate our needs, relate to each other, make connections, express ourselves and show who we are. The words we use may also have unintended consequences.
When we use gendered words to describe an occupation such as 'policeman', 'fireman' or ‘mailman’, we infer it is man’s job. Yet, your daughter or granddaughter may want to be a police officer, fire fighter or mail carrier one day!
Some may believe it’s cute, even complimentary, to call a group of women ‘girls’, not realizing it implies a different level of maturity and autonomy.
Do you find there is often a double standard when describing similar behaviors in men and women? A man at work is called ‘assertive’ if he speaks out at a meeting in a commanding way, yet a woman at the meeting who exhibits the very same behavior is described as ‘bossy’ or ‘pushy’. Same behavior, but we apply a positive connotation to the male behavior and a negative one to the very same behavior in a woman.
If we want to live in a society where men and women are treated equally, we can start by being more aware of the words we use throughout the day and making adjustments. It’s not always easy to change the words we use, and it won’t happen overnight. Some may say this is making a big deal out of nothing, yet seemingly small every day actions are what creates real change. Awareness and thinking about how our words impact those around us will create a change in our homes and our community; one that promotes respect of all people, equal opportunities and a safer, happier world for all of us.
For more information on everyday actions you can take that promote kindness and respect in your community, visit http://wrcnm.org/links/how-you-can-help.
Did you know you're a male role model and you might not even realize it? Young people you know - sons, their friends, nephews, grandchildren or the kids you coach - are watching your actions and soaking them up for reference and later use.
Three things you can do to create positive change
TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT BOUNDARIES – Helping boys understand their own boundaries and how to assert them is an important step in helping them understand other people’s boundaries and how to respect them.
STAND UP, SPEAK OUT ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – Let young people in your life know you don't support sexist comments or violence against women, so they will have the confidence, language and skills to be able to do the same later on.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE – Recognize you have a role to play in talking with young people in your life about gender equality and healthy, violence-free relationships. These are not only “women’s issues” but issues that affect us all, including men and boys.
Have an everyday conversation:
“One day, on the way to dropping my three boys off at school, Rihanna’s song ‘Don’t Stop the Music’ came on the radio. This is one of their favorite songs and Rihanna tops their list of popular artists. I lowered the volume slightly and told them about the violence she experienced from her boyfriend. They asked a lot of questions, each filled with sadness and concern. I explained to them that it’s not right for men to hurt or abuse their girlfriends, and that disagreements are best resolved with words rather than violence. When one of them said ‘he didn’t have the right to do that to her,’ I knew that I had been successful in getting the message to them.”– a male role model
If you are interested in learning more about violence prevention topics or would like to have a speaker for your group, organization or workplace, call the Violence Prevention Coordinator at (231) 347-1572.
Here are a few actions you can take on a personal and community level to create a safer world for your daughters, sisters, mother, partner, friends and co-workers – a world free from violence.
Refrain from blaming victims of sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse and dating violence
Hold friends accountable when their language or behavior disrespects women and girls
Ask your workplace what guidelines they have in place to deal with domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking
Affirm your child/grandchild’s sport team supports a positive, respectful and non-violent team culture – and related rules are communicated, enforced and non-negotiable
For men, specifically:
Show YOUR strength by speaking up to men who are using THEIR strength for hurting
Refrain from supporting businesses and purchasing items that disrespect, objectify or demean women and girls
To learn more or arrange for a speaker, call the Violence Prevention Coordinator at (231) 347-1572
With Father's Day just around the corner, we are sharing this video that features two dads who are great role models for their sons and for others. Check out the video and share it with your dad, your friends or a male role model who makes a difference in your life. Together, let's celebrate the men who are raising a healthier generation of young people.
Have you ever heard the following phrases?
“Boys don't cry”
“You run like a girl”
“That’s a woman’s job”
Gender stereotypes and limiting language deprive boys of opportunities and positive self-worth. They also support the notion that anything female is weak and has less value which perpetuates a culture of sexual and domestic violence.
As a positive male role model for boys and other men you can help them understand:
• Boys and men DO cry – it’s a HUMAN emotion; show your emotions and let boys know it’s okay for them to do so, as well.
• You fully support their interests without applying harmful and limiting stereotypes; allow boys to explore interests without projecting gender stereotypes that can be shaming.
• Strength does NOT equal violence, aggression, domination and control; instead, exemplify positive strength by embracing the basic human characteristics of respect, kindness, compassion and empathy.
Additional ways positive male role models can make a difference:
• Avoid derogatory phrases like “man up” which support unrealistic/unhealthy gender norms.
• When you see stereotypes in daily life and the media, have a conversation with family and friends about why they are harmful.
• Find ways to motivate young male athletes without using words that suggest men are powerful, women are weak. Look for the positive, “You maintained good running form through the middle of the race.” Be encouraging, “You can do it. I believe in you.”
We believe strongly in the power of communities to create lasting change. Through every day actions, we can move closer to the day when all men and boys are loving and respectful, all women and girls are valued and safe...and violence against women and girls is unthinkable!
Join us! The 100 Men Campaign was born out of the belief that men have a crucial role to play in the movement to end violence against women and girls. Through greater awareness of this issue and by advocating for violence prevention at the community level, men are becoming part of the solution in ending what has become one of the most significant social issues of our time. To learn more visit wrcnm.org/100-men-campaign.
The 2016 Presidential Proclamation indicates we all have a role to play in preventing sexual assault: “It's on parents and caregivers to teach their children to respect and value others. It's on teammates, classmates, and colleagues to recognize sexual misconduct and intervene to stop it. It's on all of us to work for the change we need to shift the attitudes and behaviors that allow sexual assault to go unnoticed, unreported, and unpunished. During National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, let us commit to being part of the solution and rededicate ourselves to creating a society where violence is not tolerated, survivors are supported, and all people are able to pursue their fullest measure of happiness without fear of abuse or assault.”
The Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) provides support, advocacy and counseling services at no cost to survivors of sexual assault in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and Otsego counties. Last year the nonprofit organization provided direct services to 211 individuals affected by sexual assault, 52 of whom were age 17 or younger.
"Many thanks to the cities of Charlevoix, Gaylord and the Village of Bellaire for proclaiming April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month," said Chris Krajewski, WRCNM Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Program Director. "Their actions help raise awareness of this issue which will ultimately lead to creating safer communities."
For more information or support, call the WRCNM’s 24-hour crisis and information line at (231) 347-0082, (800) 275-1995 or visit wrcnm.org.
Together, we can end sexual assault in our community. April is Sexual Assault Awarness Month, yet ending this type of violence will take men and women working together EVERY DAY.
- Violence against women is a reality.
- Worldwide 35% of women have experienced sexual violence.
- Almost 2 million American women are victims of rape or attempted rape every year.
It happens here too:
- Last year the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan provided assistance to 277 sexual assault survivors in Emmet, Charlevoix, Otsego, Cheboygan and Antrim counties.
What you can do:
- Intervene to stop harmful behavior.
- Promote respect, equality and accountability.
- Speak up when you hear sexist comments.
- Create prevention policies at your workplace, school or community organization.
- Support legislation to hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable.
- Coordinate a community event to raise awareness.
- Believe and support survivors of sexual violence.
Engage in the conversation:
- Silence helps perpetuate violence against women. That's why it's important to talk about sexism and respect at the dinner table, speak up at the local bar when you see or hear something disrespectful and act when something is happening that you know is wrong.
World Health Organization. “Violence Against Women.” WHO.int.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/ (Accessed February 9th 2016)
Center for Disease Control. “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.” CDC.gov.
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/ (Accessed February 9th 2016)
Did you know a whopping 70% of internet users age 18 to 24 have experienced some sort of online harassment according to a Pew Research study? The study also found that young women experience severe online harassment at a much higher rate than their male counterparts.
Online harassment may include name-calling, sexist comments, bullying and even threats of physical harm. Online harassment also has real-life consequences. The person being harassed is at a higher risk for low self-esteem, for drug and alcohol use, they will be more likely to skip school or receive poor grades and are at a higher risk for health problems. The harasser may get in trouble with the law or with their school. In fact, anyone creating, sending or possessing any intimate pictures of someone under the age of 16 can be convicted of a child pornography felony even if the person themselves is under the age of 16.
What can you do to help protect young people in your life?
Even online we can speak up against sexist statements or jokes, as well as harassment and bullying.
Talk to your kids.
Start the conversation about this type of harassment as soon as kids start going online. Make sure they know the facts about posting online and that it’s safe to go to a trusted adult if something happens online that makes them uncomfortable.
Spread the word.
Make a New Year’s resolution to speak up about online harassment. Post helpful links for other parents on Facebook. Talk to your kids about how to be good online citizens.
Resources for parents:
National Crime Prevention Council
Together, a safer community is within our grasp. Join us!
The 100 Men Campaign was born out of the belief that men have a crucial role to play in the movement to end violence against women and girls. Through greater awareness of this issue and by advocating for violence prevention at the community level, men are becoming part of the solution in ending what has become one of the most significant social issues of our time.Continue reading
Anyone who posts something online runs the risk of getting negative feedback. But for some female writers, things are taken to an extreme level. Host Michel Martin talks with Amanda Hess, about her article "Why Women Aren't Welcome On The Internet." Writers Bridget Johnson and Mikki Kendall also discuss how they've handled harassments and threats - on and off line.
An NPR interview on the program TELL ME MORE.
Several contributors helped kick off the fifth year of the 100 Men Campaign, a local effort to engage men in the movement to end violence against women and girls. Pictured reviewing campaign materials are (from left) Dan Branson, Chuck Smith, Doug Fuller and Kevin Burns.
The 100 Men Campaign was developed by the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) to help men become more actively involved in the movement to end violence against women and children. The campaign invites northern Michigan men to take a public stand against the violence that impacts 1 in 4 U.S. women, by having their name published in local newspapers and donating $100 to support local prevention initiatives.
In its fifth year, the 100 Men Campaign is one of many programs across the nation to engage men in the effort to help end what has become one of the most significant social issues of our time—violence against women and children. WRCNM Executive Director, Jan Mancinelli, says men in the community have always wanted to help in one way or another.
“Men in the community have supported the Women’s Center and Safe Home for decades,” said Mancinelli. “Back when the Safe Home was heated with wood, men would help cut, split and stack wood to provide warmth for survivors and their children who had taken refuge at the shelter.” The work was an active way for local men to get involved and help, while providing a visible result.
“Several years ago we conducted focus groups with local men to learn more about their willingness to get involved in this issue. The men we talked to wanted to help survivors and also ensure a safer future for their daughters, sisters, mothers and friends, but they weren’t sure how to go about it,” Mancinelli said.
The 100 Men Campaign has grown from 125 to 161 over the past four years. Recently, Mancinelli sat down with several campaign donors and encouraged them to further develop the campaign through their feedback and suggestions.
The issue of violence against women has never been so prominent in the media, online and in every day conversations than during the past year, according to Mancinelli. Violence against women and girls has been making headlines in the sports arena, high-profile cases and on college campuses with regard to Title IX legislation aimed at provided educational environments free from sexual harassment and violence.
“The more local awareness and education we can provide around this issue and about the roots of this violence, the better chance we have of ending it,” said Mancinelli. “We are encouraged to have the support of men in the community who are teachers, doctors, police officers, business owners and leaders—who are also brothers, fathers, sons and grandfathers—who want to step up and say this violence in no longer acceptable.”
The Women’s Center has provided supportive services to thousands of survivors since 1977. “We are at a tipping point in ending this epidemic of violence,” said Mancinelli. “Now is the time to take action.”
To learn more about the 100 Men Campaign, or how to donate, contact the WRCNM main office at (231) 347-0067 or visit wrcnm.org/100-men-campaign.
“It is so critical for us to stand up and actively oppose violence against women,” said Bill Wilson a northern Michigan social worker who volunteers on the Violence Prevention team and is a 100 Men Campaign contributor. He referenced a recent national survey by the Centers for Disease Control which revealed that one in five women had been raped in their lifetime and one in four had been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. “As a father of two daughters, these statistics frighten and anger me – they also motivate me to do my part to “man up” and join the work to end violence against women and girls,” said Wilson.
The Men’s Call to Action meeting also picks up where Joe Ehrmann left off. Ehrmann, a former NFL player, author, coach and educator, visited Petoskey last year for a lecture and coaches workshop. He stressed the importance of modeling and developing in young men and boys the essential qualities of empathy, compassion, competence, reflection and self-worth. During his time in northern Michigan, Ehrmann made clear we all have some kind of responsibility to make a difference in this world, and men and boys need to step up and help end this violence.
Area resident, Kevin Burns, who is also a Violence Prevention Team volunteer and 100 Men Campaign contributor said, “My participation with the Violence Prevention Team and 100 Men Campaign events has inspired me to get involved and make a difference regarding the negative cultural and social norms that contribute to violence and gender inequality. The Men's Call to Action is another great opportunity.”
Men’s Call to Action will feature facilitated discussion and food will be available to those in attendance. The Demmer Wellness Center Pavilion is located at 820 Arlington Avenue in Petoskey. For more information contact the Violence Prevention Team Coordinator at (231) 347-1572.
Dennis Duggan (left), a liberal arts professor at North Central Michigan College, and Bill Wilson, a Licensed Master Social Worker, facilitate discussion after a local screening of the film Tough Guise 2. Wilson is also a Violence Prevention Team volunteer and 100 Men Campaign contributor. The film examines a culture that fosters a ‘guise’ of tough masculinity and results in a society in which men perpetrate 90% of the violence. A third screening of the film will take place at Charlevoix Public Library at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, May 13. The free local screenings are being provided by funds raised through the 100 Men Campaign.
Community members gathered recently at North Central Michigan College,the University Center Gaylord and Charlevoix Public Library to watch the documentary Tough Guise 2 and discuss the issue of male violence in America. The film examines cultural developments that promote a learned masculinity, or ‘guise’ that is in part responsible for current levels of school shootings, domestic abuse, sexual assault and dating violence.
Following the film, audience members discussed the roots of violence and how to be a more active bystander. Many in attendance wanted to know what they could do in their daily lives to help prevent the violence that is primarily perpetrated by boys and men.
Audience members said they were looking for ways to foster the qualities of respect, compassion, kindness and appreciation in their sons and other young people they know. Although some viewers thought the film addressed extreme instances of violence, students in the audience agreed the violence depicted reflected their reality. Students also mentioned the pressure for young men to be 'intimidating' with peers.
“The film presents this pervasive problem and challenging issue, yet it’s up to all of us, including men, to work toward real change,” said Jan Mancinelli, executive director of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM).
“This film and others like it are a catalyst for moving community members to action and to seek solutions to ending this violence,” said Mancinelli. “Input and support from men is essential to help change attitudes that so narrowly and negatively define masculinity.”
Men in the audience were invited to a workshop-style event "Men’s Call to Action" which will be held at the Demmer Wellness Pavilion in Petoskey on May 29. This is an opportunity for local men to move from awareness to action and further examine their role in helping to build safer communities.
The Men’s Call to Action will be held at the Demmer Wellness Pavilion on Arlington Avenue in Petoskey at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 29. Complimentary food will be available.
Those interested in learning more about what they can do to help promote respectful, healthy relationships and non-violence may visit the 100 Men website at wrcnm.org/support/100-men-campaign. The site provides local, state and coaching resources, links and information.
Several contributors helped kick off the fourth year of the 100 Men Campaign, a local effort to engage men in the movement to end violence against women and girls. Pictured reviewing campaign materials are (from left) Matt Tamm, Steve Biggs, Chris Krajewski and Jan Mancinelli of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, Steve VanDam, Matthew Font and Ben VanDam.
The 100 Men Campaign is a local effort born out of the belief that men have a crucial role to play in the movement to end violence against women and girls. It provides a way for men to become more actively engaged in the effort and to be part of the solution. Campaign dollars fund awareness and educational activities to help inspire and equip men and boys to make changes in workplaces, athletic arenas, schools, faith-based communities and within their own communities and neighborhoods.
Three years ago, 125 local men joined the inaugural 100 Men Campaign and last year that number increased to 165 contributors. The goal for the current campaign is to inspire 200 men to join the effort. The campaign was initiated by the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) after having held focus groups to learn what local men thought about the issue and if they wanted to get more involved.
“The overall feedback during those focus groups was that men wanted to help, yet didn’t really know where to start or what actions to take,” said Jan Mancinelli, Executive Director of the WRCNM. “I am thrilled men in the community are stepping up to help in the quest to recognize and end violence against women and girls. The effort they are making with their dollars and with their time is allowing us [WRCNM] to do so much more than we were able to do to raise awareness, hold events and reach out to men and boys messaging respect and non-violence in relationships.”
The 100 Men Campaign provides men with a variety of ways to become more involved in the effort. The primary way is a $100 donation used for local awareness, educational and prevention initiatives; donors also agree to take a public stand on the issue by having their name listed as a contributor in printed materials and advertisements. Some donors also volunteer at events, serve on the Violence Prevention Team, work with coaches and high school athletes during awareness-raising White Ribbon games, attend educational events or write letters to the editor.
“With each community event we sponsor, every panel discussion, coaches workshop or message directed to community members we reach more people and gain more support through a greater understanding of the issue,” said Bill Wilson, a contributor to the campaign and member of the Violence Prevention Team. “It’s crucial for men to realize that even though they are respectful and non-violent in their own relationships, if they don’t also speak out against this violence their silence sends a powerful message, one that helps it persist.”
To donate to, or learn more about the 100 Men Campaign, call (231) 347-0067, or visit wrcnm.org/100-men-campaign.
Recent activities of the 100 Men Campaign:
• More than 350 community members attended the Joe Ehrmann Lecture Series on building empathy, respect, appreciation and compassion in athletes on and off the field.
• Nearly a hundred attended a coaching workshop to learn how to make life-changing impact on players, other coaches and communities.
• Hundreds attended two White Ribbon Campaign boys’ basketball games which generated awareness of efforts to end violence against women and girls. Athletes took the pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
• Educational, awareness and primary prevention promotional messages were placed in a variety of media; 93% surveyed said the messages made them feel they could make a difference.
• Names of 159 early supporters of last year’s campaign were listed in full page ads published in multiple local newspapers. A total of 165 men eventually contributed to the campaign.
• Partnerships with other local organizations helped facilitate awareness-building, educational projects and events for men, boys and community members.
• Greater web presence to further engage and educate. (http://www.wrcnm.org/support/100-men-campaign)
James R. Linderman, Emmet County Prosecuting Attorney, addresses an audience of law enforcement professionals at North Central Michigan College during a training on the myths and misconceptions of sexual violence investigation. The speaker for the training was Thomas Tremblay, a passionate leader for the prevention of domestic abuse and sexual violence who is credited with a distinguished thirty year policing career.
Police and probation officers, prosecutors, domestic violence advocates and allied professionals from throughout Michigan attended training on sexual assault investigation at North Central Michigan College, recently.
Those attending the day-long training learned about the myths and misconceptions of sexual violence that help make it one of the most complex crimes for law enforcement to handle. The training also focused on understanding the devastating impact of trauma on sexual violence victims and survivors that may be misinterpreted by police, prosecutors, judges and juries. Attendees learned about working with multi-disciplinary team members in the community who provide services to victims and survivors of sexual assault such as advocates, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and prosecutors. The predatory nature of sexual assault offenders was also explored to better understand how offender behaviors can help guide criminal investigations.
The training was provided by Thomas R. Tremblay who served for over twenty-four years in the police department in Burlington, Vermont. In 2008, Tremblay was appointed by Vermont Governor James Douglas to serve a three year term as Public Safety Commissioner for the State of Vermont. Prior to his appointment he was Chief of Police for the City of Burlington. Currently, he is a faculty member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police National Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women and he is also an associate with Margolis Healy; a national professional services firm specializing in campus safety and security. Throughout his distinguished thirty year policing career, Tremblay has been a passionate leader for the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. He is now a national trainer and advisor on prevention, response and investigations of gender and sexual violence.
Although 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime, Tremblay said he has never see the level of activism and outrage about sexual violence as we are currently, noting protests as far away as India after the gang rape of a woman on a bus and as close as Steubenville, Ohio, after the rape of an unconscious underage female by high school football players.
“Victims and survivors have taught me so much about this crime; listen to their experiences to help us respond to this crime,” Tremblay urged those attending the training.
The training was sponsored by the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, Emmet County Prosecutor’s Office and Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan. Cosponsors of the training also included the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association.