Anti-Violence Expert Puts Focus on Males; Talks Are on How to Prevent Crimes

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Diamond, Times-Union staff writer

For decades, violence prevention advocates have taught girls and women strategies to avoid becoming victims. Now these same advocates are focusing on boys and men.

Through groups such as Men Against Violence Against Women, activists are teaching males that it is unacceptable to commit crimes against women.

These lessons will continue tomorrow through two scheduled events with Jackson Katz, a national anti-violence expert. Katz is scheduled to speak with students at Sandalwood High School and participate in a public town hall meeting later that evening.

Katz created the Mentors in Violence Prevention, a program that teaches men how to help prevent rape, battery and sexual harassment. Since the program started in 1993, it has been implemented in more than 85 colleges.

The Jacksonville visit is sponsored by The Chrysalis Group, a coalition of 10 agencies united to promote social change and end violence. The member organizations include the Hubbard House, Children's Crisis Center and the Police Athletic League.

"We need men -- whether they be dads, coaches, pastors or brothers -- to stand up in the community and condemn behavior and aspects of our culture that say it is appropriate for men to abuse or assault women," said Dawn Emerick, director of communications and education for Hubbard House, a center for domestic violence victims.

"All one needs to do is look at what has happened in our community to understand the need for these discussions," Emerick added.

Emerick referred to two incidents involving attacks on girls. On March 28, a 12-year-old girl at Eugene Butler Middle School reported being raped in a school bathroom. …


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