ACTION GUIDE
Billboard
Playhouse
Domestic Violence Free Zone
FAQs
Breaking Our Silence Video
GMADA's Approach
Press Coverage
If You Need Help
Links
Contact Us
Text Version

 

 

HOME PAGE
Men for HAWC

Parade
Billboard
Playhouse
Domestic Violence - Free Zone
Frequently Asked Questions
Breaking Our Silence Video
GMADA's Approach
Other Men's Initiatives
Bumperstickers, T-shirts & More
Press Coverage
If You Need Help
Links
Contact Us
Business Statement
Text Version


Affiliated with Men for HAWC
and The Men's Initiative for Jane Doe
www.strongmendontbully.com ©2002
All rights reserved.




FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - continued

IS THIS APPROACH WORKING?
The answer to this question is a definite yes. Remember that GMADA’s first goal is ending men’s silence about our violence against women. It is a necessary first step toward preventing abuse. Many people want to know if abuse rates are declining—something that can’t really be answered for now. There are indications that more men are seeking help, and now there is widespread support for developing more resources for prevention and recovery. But as HAWC anticipated, between our efforts, the work of the Coalition for the Prevention of Domestic abuse, and the declaration of Gloucester as Domestic Violence-Free Zone, reporting of abuse has gone up significantly in the past couple of years, which HAWC treats as a positive development. HAWC’s data suggests it is a sign that more women are feeling supported to change their situations, not a sign that abuse is increasing.

This is what we see so far:
The silence is broken. Men are speaking out. In our fourth year our messages, with the 550 men’s names connected to them, have really become part of the community. Our YMCA workout room, gym and pool is a very active community center. The director of the Y asked if he could run a loop of the BREAKING OUR SILENCE video for a week straight in the lobby. When the schools ran a Health Fair for high school students the organizers called to ask us to set up a men’s table and to bring the big hands from the Parade with us. When the Man-to-Man column (see Press Coverage) appeared in the paper, the Mayor and City Personnel Director made hundreds of photocopies and put it in with the paychecks for all city employees, along with a note from the Mayor. This year the Mayor asked if he could join us for the Parade and he did.
More and more men (and women) have been putting the bumper stickers on their cars and trucks. Business people usually say “I can’t take a stand on anything because I will lose some of my customers.” This is a huge part of the silence that needs breaking. We are seeing the bumperstickers on more and more commercial vehicles including Virgilio’s famous Italian bakery, Earl Unis & Sons Plumbing and numerous other business vans and trucks. When you go into Two Sisters Restaurant for breakfast or lunch, a favorite spot for lots of men, or when you walk into Ben’s Wallpaper & Paint, where dozens of painters and tradesmen shop everyday, the STRONG MEN DON’T BULLY bumpersticker is right there to greet you. The fact that all these things are happening because of individual decisions, without anyone asking, tells us we have really hit paydirt!

HAWC is accompanied. HAWC, the local battered women’s agency, is definitely feeling supported and accompanied in an important way. Agency morale is lifted by this development. At a practical level, men help plan events, fundraise, move office furniture or furniture for survivors, etc. Obviously, women can do all of these things themselves, but they are doing so much already that our help has been welcome. Women in sister agencies may contact Nicole Richon Schoel, Director of Community Outreach and Director of the Gloucester office of HAWC. Email her at nicolers@helpabusedwomen.org

Survivors feel supported. We have heard through HAWC that women survivors have strong, positive reactions when seeing cars and trucks with bumper stickers saying “Another Man Against Violence Against Women” or “Strong Men Don’t Bully”. Also, others have noted that they feel less general fear around men (on the sidewalk, on line at the post office or at the supermarket, etc.)

More appetite for change. Therapists have reported a few more men coming to get help. Also, men already working on these issues in therapy, often feeling isolated, have felt encouraged by the broader male community making this work a priority.

Affirmation for men in recovery. GMADA has had an impact for those of us in recovery from alcohol or drug addictions, and/or being abusive. Taking these positive actions helps us claim our journeys and the good choices we have been making day after day, and year after year in many cases. Many of us are living proof that these changes can happen for other men.

Men feel relieved, stronger. Many men who have signed onto our messages, or who carry the bumper stickers on their cars or trucks, feel relief about being able to speak up.

We are more aware of what abuse is in our own lives. Because GMADA speaks to all forms of domestic abuse—not just physical violence--many more of us are implicated as part of the problem. Men who support GMADA have noticed habits and behaviors of their own that need work. Having the STRONG MEN DON’T BULLY sticker on the refrigerator door or filing cabinet at work has clearly helped some of us be more conscious of what we are thinking and doing.

Men are saying what boys need to hear. In the schools, staff feel greatly supported in their work against bullying and dating abuse. Already, almost 100 young men in high school, including many of the stars of a great football team, have joined in supporting GMADA’s messages. The fact that these young men can break through this male silence at their early ages seems especially significant to us.

Men for HAWC Parade Billboard Playhouse Domestic Violence-Free Zone Frequently Asked Questions Breaking Our Silence Video GMADA's Approach Other Men's Initiatives OnLine Store Links Contact Us Business Statement Bumperstickers