Men for HAWC
Domestic Violence - Free Zone
Frequently Asked Questions
Breaking Our Silence Video
Other Men's Initiatives
Bumperstickers, T-shirts & More
If You Need Help
Affiliated with Men
and The Men's Initiative for Jane Doe
All rights reserved.
MEN FOR HAWC
Our local battered womens agency is called HAWC
(Help for Abused Women and their Children). It serves 23 cities and towns
northeast of Boston. With a staff of about 30 women, HAWC operates a shelter,
24 hour hotlines, a large volunteer program, offices in Salem, Lynn and
Gloucester, services in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and many support
groups and individual counseling services, as well as teen reach programs
in area schools. In the average year HAWC has over 11,000 contacts with
women in need of services. Countless women, men and children can testify
to the dedicated and professional way HAWC has served their families during
its more than 20 year history.
In 1996, several men called to see if they could be of some use to HAWC.
The Director, Margo Casey, called us together to talk. The group expanded
to include police officers, DA staff, teachers, a therapist, and some
high school students. Three women from HAWC met twice a month with us
for about a year and a half. In the beginning, HAWC took responsibility
for keeping the meetings scheduled. We men shared our personal stories
about why we wanted to help.
After several months the men started taking responsibility for the meetings.
We created Men for HAWC, with a mission of supporting the work of HAWC
and finding ways to end mens silence about violence against women.
Men for HAWC received a great deal of positive press locally, in the Boston
Globe, and on television.
We made a flier, based on one made by The White Ribbon Campaign (see
Links), which outlined a dozen things men can do to help stop mens
violence against women. We produced it in English and Spanish and distributed
it. We also produced a half-hour community access television program with
an African-American woman interviewing five men discussing these issues.
We had Men for HAWC baseball caps made. Soon after, one of us was at Burger
King and a young African-American girl was behind the counter. She looked
up at his hat and then at his face and then at his hat again and a tear
rolled down her cheek as she said I didnt know there were
any men for HAWC.
Several of the founders of Men for HAWC were professionals spending their
workweeks focused on domestic violence and the last thing they wanted
were evening meetings on these issues. We became a smaller steering committee,
calling on these other men when needed. Three women staff members from
HAWC continue to work with us frequently, including Candace Waldron, the
current Executive Director.
In Men for HAWCs third year we decided to focus on activities within
local communities. Two more television shows were produced in Lynn, one
in English and one in Spanish, both featuring Latino men with Sonia Peña,
the director of HAWCs Lynn office.
We ordered bumperstickers against domestic violence. Then two high schools,
including St. Johns Prep, (a large Catholic boys school) and
Danvers High School, held a bumpersticker rally. One committed teacher,
a guidance counselor, and a bunch of students organized it without much
effort or expense. The rally was run by students on the Saturday before
Mothers Day, 2000. A little over 100 cars and trucks came to get
bumper stickers. The Danvers Police donated 100 long-stem white carnations,
one to be given to each man so he could pass it on to a woman. The local
and regional press covered the event, and the community was left with
all those bumper stickers in circulation. It was decided to do it again
every two years and this year 175 vehicles participated.
A few members of Men for HAWC who live in Gloucester decided to organize
locally. One important point should be noted here: With HAWCs consent
we decided not to begin the Gloucester effort as Men for HAWC, but as
Gloucester Men Against Domestic Abuse (GMADA). This is a crucial distinction.
By focusing on our opposition to mens violence against women, rather
than on our support for HAWC, we were able to gain support from a much
broader cross-section of the male community. In 1999, we asked men to
walk in the citys annual Fourth of July Horribles Parade.
The best way to trace the history of Gloucester Men Against Domestic Abuse
(GMADA) is to look at Parade, Playhouse,
Billboard. You may also read articles in
A further development for our city has been the creation, in 2000, of
a broad-based Coalition for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse and the declaration
of Gloucester as a Domestic Violence-Free Zone. This fulfills a long-term
vision of Nicole Richon Schoel, the Director of the Gloucester HAWC office
as well as HAWCs Director of Community Outreach. For more details
see Domestic Violence-Free Zone.
L. to R. Nicole Richon Schoel, Craig Norberg-Bohm, Eddie
Harris, and Kyle Butler Harris.